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  • Police blotter - Feb. 14

    Feb 14, 2024

    These calls were made to the Tucumcari-Quay Regional Emergency Communications Center from Jan. 29 to Feb. 11: Jan. 29 — 12:07 a.m.: Domestic disturbance in 500 block of South Eighth Street, Tucumcari. — 6:36 a.m.: Suicide attempt in 400 block of East Turner Avenue, Tucumcari. — 9:23 a.m.: Arrest warrant in 200 block of East Hines Avenue, Tucumcari. — 10:33 a.m.: Domestic disturbance in 500 block of South First Street, Tucumcari. — 1:53 p.m.: Trespassing in 1900 block of South Fourth Street, Tucumcari. — 4:23 p.m.: Fire in 400 block...

  • Jail log - Feb. 14

    Feb 14, 2024

    These individuals were booked into the Quay County Detention Center from Feb. 5 to Feb. 11: — Briana Emilee Willebrand, 19, no address listed, criminal damage to property (under $1,000). — Latoya Tenea French, 42, Tucumcari, contempt of court. — Nick Craig Womack, 35, Tucumcari, charge not listed. — Henry Joseph Salaz, 51, Tucumcari, contempt of court. — Nathan Donald Sims, 39, Tucumcari, criminal damage to property (under $1,000) and criminal trespass (unposted). — Jane Stanton, 36, Tucumcari, making a false report. — Kofi Young...

  • Judge Mitchell retires early

    Staff report|Feb 7, 2024

    Tenth Judicial District Judge Albert J. Mitchell Jr. retired effective Friday, about one month earlier than his previously announced retirement date. Barry Massey, public information officer for New Mexico Courts, stated in an email Monday the New Mexico Supreme Court has designated other judges to help in the interim until a new judge likely is appointed by the governor and takes office later this year. “In order to assist with handling cases during the vacancy, the Supreme Court has appointed retired District Judge James Waylon Counts to...

  • Art City ambitions

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 7, 2024

    About 2 1/2 years after moving here, artist Matt Monahan's efforts to make Tucumcari more of an artist-friendly city are ramping up. He recently finished installing five travel trailers, composting toilets and a stage at his Sunlit Ranch home south of town that will be used for artist residencies. Monahan recently closed on a purchase of 40 acres off Highway 104 a few miles north of Tucumcari that will become a so-called Art City - a sculpture park and luxury campground. Monahan spoke during a...

  • I-40 repairs coming in spring

    Ron Warnick|Feb 7, 2024

    Over $38 million in road work on Interstate 40 in Quay County is on tap for this spring, with more projects in the planning stages. For some drivers, those repairs won't come soon enough. Tucumcari shops have been busy all winter fixing more damaged tires because of I-40's potholes. "I know it's really bad on the west side of town," Quality Lube & Tire co-owner Leif Gray said last week. He said he began noticing four months ago an upswing in tire repairs due to the bad condition of I-40....

  • Resignations stalled memorial to civil rights activist

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 7, 2024

    Two resignations in city government in 2022 and a lack of follow-up inquiries apparently caused a proposal for a downtown memorial to New Mexico civil rights icon and Tucumcari native Alice Faye Kent Hoppes to stall until her nephew revived the idea last month. Former Tucumcari mayor Ruth Ann Litchfield admitted in a phone interview she “dropped the ball” with the plan to install the Hoppes memorial at Sands Dorsey Park downtown. Litchfield said she took biographical information about from Hoppes’ nephew, Anthony Kent, in the spring of 20...

  • Calendar - Feb. 7

    Feb 7, 2024

    • Saturday — Mardi Gras Shrimp Boil. This event at the Tucumcari Elks Lodge at 6 p.m. serves as a fundraiser for the Mesalands Community College Foundation. It will include live music and a dessert auction organized by Altrusa International. Tickets are $30 and are available from the Mesalands Student Affairs or president’s office, Ellen White at the Quay County Clerk’s Office, Citizens Bank or any foundation member. • Feb. 17 — Annual Center Street Methodist Church Enchilada Dinner. The dinner with all the fixings will be from 11...

  • Pages past - Feb. 7

    Feb 7, 2024

    On this date ... 1973: Hopes were high that a nationwide independent truckers’ strike would end, with the possibility of deliveries resuming by the weekend. There were widespread reports that communities would be short of food by the weekend because of the lack of deliveries. In the meantime, reports of violence had been reported in at least 40 states. That included a dynamite blast on one of the pillars of a bridge in Pennsylvania. Many New Mexico housewives reportedly were overbuying supplies of toilet paper and paper towels in response to...

  • Menus - Feb. 7

    Feb 7, 2024

    Tucumcari schools Wednesday — Breakfast: Blueberry muffin, string cheese, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, cinnamon graham cracker, banana, apple juice, 1%, skim or strawberry skim milk; Lunch: Chicken Alfredo, ham and egg chef salad, breadstick, seasoned peas, garden side salad, fruit cocktail, 1%, skim, chocolate skim or strawberry skim milk. Thursday — Breakfast: Whole-grain doughnut ring, mandarin oranges, orange juice, 1%, skim or strawberry skim milk; Lunch: Cheeseburger, ham and cheese sandwich, potato smiles, garden side salad,...

  • Jail log - Feb. 7

    Feb 7, 2024

    These individuals were booked into the Quay County Detention Center from Jan. 29 to Feb. 5: — Lyndsey Teakell, 36, Tucumcari, charge not listed. — Anthony Gallegos, 42, Roswell, contempt of court. — Michael Lee Armijo, 34, Tucumcari, contempt of court. — Sharon Rubly, 69, Edgerton, Wisconsin, careless driving, unlawful use of highways, open container (possession) and driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug (0.08 or above). — Tyler Miguel Castillo, 18, Tucumcari, driving under the influence of intoxicating...

  • EDC seeks to straighten out books

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Feb 7, 2024

    Board members for the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corp. received a draft of a memorandum of understanding that would have one manager to direct both it and the Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce. Regardless of whether the respective boards approve that arrangement, the EDC’s interim director said during the board’s meeting Jan. 30 the organization needs to straighten out its financial records. Interim director Kristine Olsen said the EDC’s accounting software still contains 60 open invoices. “Something with our...

  • Mailing error affects 14,000 child-support clients

    Staff report|Feb 7, 2024

    The New Mexico Human Services Department announced Friday it is reaching out to 14,000 child support customers whose January monthly statements were sent to the wrong address. The agency stated accurate monthly statements were being mailed that day. “We’re swiftly addressing the mailing error and ensuring all affected child support customers receive the correct statements promptly,” said Betina Gonzales McCracken, director for Child Support Services Division with the New Mexico Human Services Department. “Mistakes happen, and we take...

  • Tucumcari cop on leave amid charges

    Ron Warnick|Jan 31, 2024

    A Tucumcari police officer remains on administrative leave after being arrested and briefly jailed last week on domestic violence-related charges involving a former girlfriend. The woman also filed a petition for an order for protection against him, citing domestic abuse, court records show. Matthew Paul Lopez, 24, was arrested on a warrant and briefly jailed at the Quay County Detention Center on misdemeanor charges of battery against a household member, interference with communication and criminal trespass. Misdemeanor charges carry a...

  • County OKs loan app for 911 center move

    Ron Warnick, The Staff of The News|Jan 31, 2024

    Quay County commissioners on Monday approved a $550,000 revolving fund application with the New Mexico Finance Authority to help the emergency dispatch center move to a new site in Tucumcari. The no-interest loan to the Tucumcari-Quay Regional Emergency Communications Center would be paid with gross receipts taxes. The dispatch center currently is housed in one room of the Tucumcari Police Department. According to documents in the commission’s packet, costs for moving to a new 911 center include $10,000 for planning and design, $350,000 for...

  • City OKs engineering plan for Third, Fourth streets

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    Tucumcari doesn’t have the money to make improvements on Third and Fourth streets near downtown, but it approved an engineering pact so it can be ready when the funds arrive. City commissioners during their meeting Thursday approved a $133,277.65 proposal from Stantec Consulting Services in Tucumcari to provide engineering services to eventually repair those streets. The engineering would cover Third Street from Main to Aber, plus Fourth Street from Main to an alley between Aber and High. The city received $319,000 in state capital outlay fun...

  • Pages past - Jan. 31

    Jan 31, 2024

    On this date ... 1973: In a hard-hitting State of the Union address, President Richard Nixon vowed to remain in office despite a growing Watergate scandal. Nixon also pledged to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment inquiry but indicated he may refuse to turn over White House documents and tapes on grounds of executive privilege. “I want you to know that I have no intention whatsoever of walking away from the job that the people elected me to do,” he said as Republican supporters applauded loudly. Nixon would resign f...

  • Menus - Jan. 31

    Jan 31, 2024

    Tucumcari schools Wednesday — Breakfast: Pancake sausage on a stick, assorted cereal, cinnamon graham cracker, fruit cocktail, orange juice, 1%, skim or strawberry skim milk; Lunch: Corndog, turkey and cheese hoagie, potato smiles, steamed seasoned corn, fresh broccoli, ranch dressing, fruit cocktail, 1%, skim, chocolate skim or strawberry skim milk. Thursday — Breakfast: Egg and cheese breakfast burrito, whole-grain doughnut ring, fruit cocktail, apple juice, 1%, skim or strawberry skim milk; Lunch: Pepperoni pizza, ham and cheese...

  • Calendar - Jan. 31

    Jan 31, 2024

    March 2 — Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration. This event by the Tucumcari Public Library to celebrate the children’s book author will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Quay County Fairgrounds. It will include door prizes, prizes for children who create the best birthday card and a scavenger hunt. For more information, call the library at (575) 461-0295. March 23 — Second annual Chess Tournament. Preliminary rounds will be in the east room of the Tucumcari Railroad Museum, with the finals in Jackalope Coffee Haus. Beginner,...

  • Enemies exploiting weak leadership

    Michael Reagan, Syndicated content|Jan 31, 2024

    Our belated and weak response to the missile attacks on merchant ships in the Red Sea by Houthi militants has been embarrassing. But that’s what happens when there’s no strong leader in the White House. Watching Joe Biden and his inept state department screw up everything they try to do in Ukraine and the Middle East reminds me of something I saw my father do in his first year in office. In 1981 the Bad Boy of the Middle East was the late Muammar Gaddafi, the dictator of Libya who was funding deadly terrorist groups in Palestine, Syria and...

  • Grenade found during drug bust

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    A possible live grenade was confiscated last week during a multi-agency drug bust on Tucumcari's west side. Raul Diaz-Villalobos, 39, was charged with trafficking a controlled substance in a school zone (by possession with intent to distribute) and possession of explosive or incendiary device, both felonies, after the operation. The trafficking charge, the most serious, could lead to up to 18 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Quay County Sheriff Dennis Garcia said Diaz-Villalobos...

  • Sonic boom came from Cannon air exercises

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    A sonic boom over Quay County and other parts of the region earlier this month occurred during a training exercise, public affairs officials from two Air Force bases in New Mexico said. The boom on the evening of Jan. 19 shook windows at residents’ homes and prompted calls to local emergency dispatchers. It was felt as far away as Conchas and Amarillo. No damage was reported. Jaclyn Pienkowski, public affairs chief at Cannon Air Force Base, stated in an email last week the Melrose Air Force Range had hosted an air integration training exercis...

  • Lawsuit against Glenrio dispensary dismissed

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    A local contractor’s lawsuit against a company that owns and operates a recreational marijuana dispensary in Glenrio was dismissed earlier this month. Pacheco Construction & Trucking’s complaint against Glenrio Properties was dismissed with prejudice on Jan. 17, which means the suit cannot be refiled in that court. Randy Knudson of Portales, the attorney for Pacheco Construction, confirmed in an email last week the case had been settled. He did not elaborate on the terms. Pacheco Construction of Tucumcari filed a money judgment complaint...

  • Local 4-H team wins state contest

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    The Quay County 4-H parliamentary procedure team recently won a championship at the state 4-H conference in Las Cruces. The team of Charmaynn Hall, MiKayla Klinger, Maddie Kenyon, Ashton Smith, Greyson Bollinger, and Paxton Smith finished first at the contest. Each team is given a set of problems they must work through using correct parliamentary procedure. The Quay County team will represent New Mexico at the National Western Roundup in Denver in January. Also, Klinger finished fourth in the...

  • Tucumcari repeats STEM Challenge win

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    For the third straight year, Tucumcari High School was among the winners of the New Mexico Governor's STEM Challenge. The THS team, which proposed a system for Native Americans to have better internet access, was among 40 that received $500 prize from one of the contest sponsors, Intel. The Tucumcari team's sponsors and mentors are Tommy and Morisa Evans. "The students had to overcome a bit of adversity since they prepared their speech expecting everyone to be there," Tommy Evans stated in an...

  • Hotel briefly evacuated after fire reported

    Staff report|Jan 31, 2024

    A Tucumcari hotel was briefly evacuated Thursday morning when a possible fire was reported there. Tucumcari Fire Chief Garrett Nash said smoke was reported about 10:30 a.m. on the second floor of the Holiday Inn at 2624 S. Adams St. He said a handful of guests were evacuated. Nash said a malfunctioning heating unit was believed to be the cause. Nearly all the firefighters departed from the scene less than an hour later. No injuries were reported, and little damage was apparent. Tim Martinez, the hotel’s manager, said Friday a heating unit...

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