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  • New program introduced for more retail in Roosevelt County

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Mar 23, 2024

    The Roosevelt County Commission heard a presentation on a program that could potentially bring more retail businesses to the area by recruiting and retaining. Jodi Diaz, executive director of the Roosevelt County Community Development Corporation (RCCDC) presented to the commission at their meeting on Tuesday. Diaz said the Economic Development Incentive program would include a small percentage of gross receipt tax that would be reimbursed to a new or existing business in Roosevelt County if they were expanding. It would not...

  • Q&A: New commissioner introduces herself

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Mar 16, 2024

    Editor’s Note: This is one in a continuing series of interviews with local officials. Gail Tarson was recently elected to serve on the Clovis City Commission. Q: Tell me about yourself, your family, your background, etc. A: I grew up in a small Arizona town similar to Clovis in culture and climate. I was raised in a two-parent household with six siblings, a mix of brothers and sisters. I was raised on caring discipline and unconditional love. I am married to Todd Tarson who works for UPS. Todd and I will celebrate 23 years o...

  • Departments sign for new medical director

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Mar 16, 2024

    Volunteer fire departments, dispatch, and fire and EMS along with the Portales Fire Department (PFD) signed an agreement to hire Dr. Ronald Carver as their medical director. The motion to enter into an agreement with Carver was passed on a unanimous vote by the Council at their regular meeting Tuesday. “Medical direction is required for all EMS services,” councilor Veronica Cordova said. Carver is an ER doctor in Lovington and has been an EMS medical director for several years across south eastern New Mexico, according to...

  • Roosevelt County races contested

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Mar 16, 2024

    Editor’s note: Primary elections across New Mexico are scheduled June 4, with early voting beginning May 7. The general election is Nov. 5. We asked candidates in contested Roosevelt County commission races for their background and “Why do you want this job?” Here are their responses: District 1 Fabian Munoz (Republican) Q: Tell us about yourself. A: I am a Mexican American, and I was born and raised in Portales. I’m 28 years old. I have kids. I live in the community, I love this community. I’ve been everywhere in Roosevelt...

  • Commission approves increase to income eligibility criteria

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Mar 16, 2024

    The Curry County Commission unanimously approved a hospital claims policy that would increase the income eligibility criteria. The resolution was passed in 2012 and more recently in 2020. “What it currently does,” Lance Pyle, county manager said at their regular meeting Tuesday, “is increases the minimum income.” For a single, one person household, the income would increase from $19,000 to $25,000 and for a 2 person plus, it would increase from $30,000 to $35,000. The effective date is April 1, 2024. According to the resolut...

  • Q&A: Portales' new superintendent talks background, work

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Mar 12, 2024

    Editor’s Note: This is one in a continuing series of interviews with local officials. Sharon Rowley was recently hired as the new superintendent for the Portales Municipal School district, succeeding Johnnie Cain who is retiring. She has previously worked in the Portales district and is currently principal at Fort Sumner schools. Q: Tell me about your background, who you are, and how you got here. A: I moved to Portales in 1986 to go to school and to go to Eastern New Mexico University and got my degree there. I started t...

  • Yucca Middle School FCCLA students qualify for national competition

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Mar 9, 2024

    2 Yucca Middle School students have qualified for the national competition, following the 2024 Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) state conference this weekend. This is the first year FCCLA has been offered at Yucca. Nicole Olson, the food and nutrition and FCCLA teacher at Yucca Middle School, said FCCLA teaches students how to prepare for many life skills, such as finance, education, home making, culinary, entrepreneurship, and more. Some students provided insight on what the competition was like....

  • ENMU's first lady gives Women's History Month presentation

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Mar 9, 2024

    Stephanie Johnston never had "First Lady of Eastern New Mexico University" on her radar when she was growing up. But as the years passed, her professional signature shows just how long her journey was to get to where she is today. From a bachelor of science to a masters in radiology, Johnston has only continued to add more titles to her name. In honor of Women's History Month, Johnston gave a presentation Wednesday during a luncheon at ENMU to explain how she's faced many...

  • Portales selects next superintendent

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Mar 5, 2024

    Sharon Rowley will be Portales' new school superintendent, effective July 1. "I feel called to this," Rowley said. "I'm excited." Rowley, the principal at Fort Sumner Schools, previously worked in the Portales district and was the assistant principal at Lindsey Steiner Elementary School for 4 1/2 years. "I married here, raised my family here, we live here," Rowley said. Rowley was in attendance Monday evening at the school board's regular meeting where she signed a letter of...

  • Q&A: New Portales school board member talks plans and background

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Mar 2, 2024

    Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of state-of-the-entity interviews with local officials. Doug Pfaffenberger was recently appointed to serve on the Portales Municipal School Board, filling the unexpired term of Cade Skinner. Q: Tell me a little about your background and who you are. A: I grew up in Portales, went to school here, and really have been here my whole life. I’ve been in business for myself for the last 22 years. My daughter is a senior at Portales and my son is a sophomore. My wife is a school tea...

  • Council approves cost of service water study

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Mar 2, 2024

    The Portales City Council has approved another water study; this one gives the green light to a company that will help them determine how to raise water utility rates. Waterworth, a utility rate management company based in British Columbia, serves around 200 communities across North America. According to Grange Gordon, who works for the company and presented to the council Tuesday. Waterworth provides the software necessary to plan financially when water rates go up. The cost to utilize the company is an annual charge of...

  • Q&A: Portales city manager talks water, capital outlay

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Feb 29, 2024

    Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of state-of-the-entity interviews with local officials. Sarah Austin is the city manager for Portales. Q: What has been the recent discussion on the water situation? A: We’ve discussed how to increase our water supply, how to drill more wells, and how much funding is needed. We created the water drought plan, which is now the water efficiency plan. We are in the process of installing flow meters at our tanks, we are working on ordinances, rate increases, and incentives. Q: How...

  • Bridge talk ongoing at state line

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Feb 27, 2024

    Department of Transportation officials in Texas and New Mexico have heard from area residents regarding a bridge over the railroad splitting Texico from Farwell. Next on the agenda: an environmental study that likely won't be completed until sometime next year. Meetings in Texico and Farwell the past two weeks have helped DOT officials understand community concerns, they said. Now they review and wait. "As the project progresses, and as the environmental documentation is...

  • Stage 3 restrictions remain, city council looks at geophysical survey

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Feb 26, 2024

    The Portales City Commission warns residents to prepare to continue conservation efforts after concluding the city will be staying in the stage 3 water restrictions at Tuesday’s meeting. The city has been in stage 3 since last summer. Councilman Eldon Merrick said in the discussion the peak demand in Portales is close to 5 million gallons a day, and that they are in a deficit of 1,000 gallons a minute. “There’s no way we could reach that peak demand… I know everyone hates to hear that, but I don’t see any other option,...

  • 'Baby box' soon to be active in Portales

    Landry Sena|Updated Feb 24, 2024

    After two years of discussion, a Safe Haven Baby Box will soon be active at the Portales Fire Department. The baby box was delivered to the fire department on Monday. The official day as to when it will be active is still unknown. However, Angie Smith, the chair for Right to Life of Curry and Roosevelt counties, said contractors will get it installed soon and it will then be tested to make sure it's working correctly. She anticipates that to take only a couple of weeks....

  • Day of love

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Feb 20, 2024

    It's the month of love, and what better day to get married than on Valentine's Day? The Ninth Judicial Court District in Curry and Roosevelt counties decided to make the holiday just a bit more special for some couples on Wednesday. The local courts offered free wedding services on Valentine's Day. For Lucinda and Spencer Noia, who was at the Curry County Courthouse, getting legally married was something in the works for a long time. The couple has been together for 17 years...

  • Curry approves resolution to increase elected officials' salaries

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Feb 17, 2024

    The Curry County Commission in a 4-1 vote approved a resolution that would give the county’s elected officials a 6.5% increase in their salaries. At their regular meeting Thursday, Chairman Robert Thornton was the only one who openly expressed that he was not in favor of the increase. “If you’re there (as an elected official) for the monetary part of it, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons,” Thornton said. While he understands the logistics of the salary increase, Thornton said he fights this action item every time it com...

  • Commissioners table monitoring well drilling decision

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Feb 17, 2024

    A decision that would allow the Department of Defense (DOD) to drill monitoring wells on private property was unanimously tabled by the commission. Friends and relatives of Art Schaap, the owner of Highland Dairy, spoke on his behalf Tuesday at the Curry County Commission meeting; encouraging commissioners to not pass the resolution that would install monitoring wells on multiple locations, including Schaap’s land. Kyle Bethel, Schaap’s son-in-law, spoke at the podium during the public input agenda item. “The landowner must...

  • Candidate Q&As: Clovis City Commission District 3 - 2 year term

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Feb 11, 2024

    Editor’s note: This is one in a series of interviews with candidates in the March 5 city of Clovis elections. Debbie Zamora, appointed to the District 3 City Commission seat last year, will face Doug Pettigrew. The winner will be expected to complete a two-year term. Early voting began Tuesday and runs through March 2. Douglas Pettigrew Q: Describe yourself in two or three sentences. A: I’m an Air Force veteran and retired after 40 years as an auditor with Allsup’s convenience stores. I’m married with five kids and nine gr...

  • Candidate Q&As: Clovis City Commission District 4

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Feb 10, 2024

    Editor’s note: This is one in a series of interviews with candidates in the March 5 city of Clovis elections. Incumbent Chris Bryant will be opposed by Josefita Griego and Dean Hardage. Early voting began Tuesday and runs through March 2. Chris Bryant Q: Describe yourself in two or three sentences. A: I’m a businessman. I’m also a person that loves our community that we choose to live in, and I’m a person that lives to serve our community of citizens. Q: The city spent part of 2023 on efforts to ban abortion clinics in Clov...

  • Candidate Q&As: Clovis City Commission District 3 - 4 year term

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Feb 10, 2024

    Editor’s note: This is one in a series of interviews with candidates in the March 5 city of Clovis elections. Incumbent Helen Casaus is running against Bryan Davis and Paul Nelson for a four-year term. Early voting began Tuesday and runs through March 2. Helen Casaus Q: Describe yourself in two or three sentences. A: I relocated here from Fort Sumner about 50 years ago, I am a retired nurse of 45 years, and I have three children. I do a lot of volunteer work throughout the community and have been involved with many n...

  • Candidate Q&As: Clovis City Commission District 2

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Feb 10, 2024

    Editor’s note: This is one in a series of interviews with candidates in the March 5 city of Clovis elections. Gail Tarson will run against Victoria Robledo. Incumbent Lauren Rowley declined to run for re-election. Early voting began Tuesday and runs through March 2. Victoria Robledo Q: Describe yourself in two or three sentences. A: I’m a person that wears many hats, from mother to women’s rights activist all the way to volunteer coordinator. There’s so much that I cover. I’m an ordinary citizen that is advocating for chang...

  • Autumn way better than One Direction tix

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Dec 23, 2023

    When I think back on the 23 Christmases I've experienced, so many memories flood my mind. To name a few, the EZ Bake Oven I got from Santa when I was 7, I think? Maybe I was 8. Also, the acoustic guitar when I was 16 is up on the list as well. And of course, when I was 13, my oldest sister Lauren told us she was having a baby by having me open a box that had a pacifier in it as the clue. I, however, really thought I was getting One Direction tickets that year and truly...

  • Baby Autumn loves smiling, snuggling

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Nov 28, 2023

    She is here! Today marks week 2 ... of being a mom. I am happy to report that our baby girl, Autumn Liberty, was born at 11:33 p.m. on Nov. 15. She only had 27 minutes to spare, or she and I would have shared a birthday. It was by far the best birthday I have ever had as it was my first day as a mom. The experience was something I will never forget. Having her was the hardest thing I've ever done, but it was also the most rewarding thing I've ever done at the same time. She...

  • Q&A: Shoe boxes help spread message of Jesus to kids

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Nov 18, 2023

    Q: What does Parkland Baptist have going on this time of year? A: Operation Christmas Child is kind of our big push. It always reminds us it's almost Thanksgiving and Christmas is right around the corner. Operation Christmas Child is kind of what we do. Our main mission project. We also do Thanksgiving boxes. We try to put together about 30 for families, military and local. And so those are kind of our two big projects. As far as Christmas and worship goes, every year I do a...

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