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Articles written by Landry Sena


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  • Local fifth grade girl competes at global level

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated May 28, 2024

    One local fifth grader got to showcase her real-world skills at a global competition in Atlanta. Amilia Sloan, a fifth grader at the Arts Academy at Bella Vista, competed at the Ron Clark Academy Global Amazing Shake recently, and it was an experience she said she'll never forget. According to the RCA, the Amazing Shake places an emphasis on teaching students manners, discipline, respect, and professional conduct. "It kind of puts kids in professional situations as well as...

  • Portales applies for new animal shelter funding

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated May 18, 2024

    An application requesting funding for a new animal control shelter in Portales has been submitted to the Board of Finance, with the possibility of the city receiving $350,000. Kelly McClellan, the director for community services, told the council at their regular meeting Tuesday the application that was submitted is 164 pages. In the application, McClellan said they considered this an emergency for funding due to smaller rooms in the shelter, which means decreased services to citizens. McClellan said there’s an increased f...

  • Roosevelt officials deny speed limit reduction request

    Landry Sena|Updated May 11, 2024

    In a 3-2 vote, the Roosevelt County Commission declined to change the speed limit from 55 mph to 40 mph on a road section just southeast of Portales. The road that was in discussion was South Roosevelt Road (SRR) 8 and NM-88, and goes about 5 miles east to SRRG. Commissioners Tina Dixon, Roy Lee Criswell and Dennis Lopez voted against the resolution. Commissioners Paul Grider and Rod Savage voted yes. Roosevelt County Road Supervisor Juan Dominguez told the commission at their regular meeting Tuesday that a traffic study was...

  • Roosevelt County officials to consider new home economist

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

    Roosevelt County could possibly have a home economist again, if the commission allows it in their budget for fiscal year 2025. Several county residents and 4-H members asked the commission at their regular meeting Tuesday to vote in favor of bringing back a family and consumer sciences agent to the Roosevelt County Extension Office. The last time Roosevelt County had an FCS agent was around 2016 when the county was in a financial crunch and needed to cut funding, according to Roosevelt County Ag Agent, Patrick Kircher. At...

  • Portales, Roosevelt settle on services contract

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated May 7, 2024

    After more than a year of back-and-forth discussion, the city of Portales and Roosevelt County have agreed to an intergovernmental services contract. This new one has no financial contribution from either entity. Instead, it is services for services. Noteworthy topics in the new agreement, which was approved by city officials on April 22, include 911 dispatch, animal control and fire/EMS services. “The agreement settled the expectations from both governing bodies in reference to the administrative duties that the Dispatch C...

  • Road signs are vanishing from Curry, Roosevelt

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated May 7, 2024

    Roosevelt and Curry counties are used to replacing road signs. Whether they're being stolen, spray painted, or shot, vandalism to road signs is common and can be a problem, officials said. Pam Wortham, a Roosevelt County resident, said she and her husband like to cruise the countryside and listen to audio books regularly. "We've noticed over the past couple of years, and not just in Portales, but the roadsides all over the county and all over Curry County are disappearing,"...

  • Q&A: Roosevelt Commission candidates talk business

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated May 4, 2024

    Editor’s note: This is one in a series of Q&As featuring candidates in contested races for the June 4 primary. Early voting begins Tuesday at the county courthouse. For the Roosevelt County Commission District 2 seat, Jarryd Burris, Malin Parker, August Cooper, and James “Bobby” Hamilton are all running for the position currently held by Rod Savage. Savage declined to seek re-election. Jarryd Burris Q: How can the County Commission help local business grow and prosper? A: A higher focus on using the already-in-place asset...

  • Portales firefighters facing staffing challenges

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

    The massive fire at Hampton Farms outside Portales on April 15 did more than destroy the peanut processing plant. It also exposed staffing challenges at the Portales Fire Department. Firefighters from around the region responded to help PFD at the peanut plant, but the facility continued to burn for days, requiring personnel to keep an eye on it. The night of April 17, with the peanut mill still requiring oversight, responders received a call for a house fire in the 700 block of North Avenue M. Four minutes after that, an...

  • Curry County gearing up for summer internship program

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

    For the fourth year, Curry County will administer the summer internship program for high school students, ages 16-18. “The goal of this program is to provide career exploration in a field that the intern may have an interest in,” said Darian Roybal, the county’s human resource director. Among 33 counties in New Mexico, Roybal said Curry County is one of 14 that take on the grant that makes it possible. “This began as the New Mexico Public Education Department College and Career Readiness Bureau Summer Enrichment Program...

  • Roosevelt County insurance rate hike $245k over 3 years

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

    Roosevelt County will pay about $245,000 more for insurance over the next three years, County Manager Amber Hamilton told commissioners on Tuesday. The county currently pays $720,350 annually to the New Mexico County Insurance Authority pool for property, workers compensation and law enforcement liability, Hamilton said. New Mexico counties are self insured through the pool. Hamilton, who serves on the NMCIA board of directors, said the insurance market is challenging across the state. “It is just difficult,” Hamilton sai...

  • Roosevelt County Food Pantry begins serving residents

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

    After almost two years of preparation, the Roosevelt County Food Pantry is serving residents. In May 2022, officials from the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico asked the Roosevelt County Commission to consider serving as a fiscal agent for a food security grant. The Commission unanimously agreed with that request. In August 2022, the county was awarded $216,793.50 to construct the 800 square foot building at 600 N. Ave K in Portales. Food distribution began quietly in January....

  • ENMU digitizes yearbooks spanning 73 years

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

    Eastern New Mexico University's Golden Library has digitized its collection of Silver Packs, the university's yearbooks – 73 years worth. That means they can all be read online, and access is free. "We first got quotes for scanning materials about three years ago. However, the original scope of the project was too large," said Regina Bouley Sweeten, Archives and Special Collections librarian. So the project was broken up into two projects: Silver Packs and The Chase (...

  • Q&A: Acting jail admin talks trends and staffing

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

    Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of interviews with local officials. Joe Alaniz is the acting Curry County Detention Center administrator. He’s filling in for Administrator Mark Gallegos who is in military service with the Naval Reserve. Q: What trends are you seeing with arrests? A: Recidivism is quite high, but the influx of new arrests also seems to be on the rise. Q: How is staffing? Recruiting and retaining? A: Like so many agencies and businesses we are still experiencing the residual effects of COV...

  • Bird flu strikes Roosevelt County facility

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

    A case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI or bird flu) was found at a poultry facility in Roosevelt County, agriculture officials confirmed last week. Initial testing of the unnamed facility was performed on April 10 for the presence of HPAI, according to a news release from the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. Further testing by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed HPAI was at the facility, the release stated. All of the birds at the facility will be destroyed. Shelton Dodson, director of...

  • Roosevelt officials approve services agreement with city

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

    Roosevelt County commissioners in a special meeting Monday agreed to a proposed intergovernmental services agreement with the city of Portales. Terms of the agreement have been debated for more than a year, with the entities exchanging proposals back and forth. The latest proposals – submitted to the county from the city last week -- will now go back to Portales City Council for final consideration. Interim City Manager T.J. Cathey said he expects city officials will approve the deal when the Council meets next week. C...

  • Community Chorus and ENMU team up for choir concerts

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Apr 13, 2024

    The Clovis Community Chorus, along with ENMU choirs are gearing up for two concerts that will take place on April 20 and 23. Tami Martin, Clovis Community Chorus Director and Jason Paulk, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities for Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU), have teamed up to bring Carl Orff's Carmina Burana to the area. Paulk will conduct both performances. "It's going to be really neat," Martin said. "Orff composed this piece for large orchestra, chor...

  • Roosevelt County approves grant application for courthouse renovations

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Apr 13, 2024

    The Roosevelt County Commission unanimously approved a grant application that would provide funding for various renovations at the Roosevelt County Courthouse. At their regular meeting Tuesday, Kevin Spears with the Ninth Judicial District Court told the commission what renovations were needed upstairs, including improvements to the restrooms and jury room. “The total cost of the project would not exceed $1 million,” Spears said. The cost would be just over $858,000 and the county would cover only 50%, which would be aro...

  • Q&A: Roosevelt County manager talks jail issues, priorities

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Apr 13, 2024

    Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of interviews with local officials. Amber Hamilton is the county manager for Roosevelt County. Q: What is the jail situation these days? Are you short of detention officers? How many prisoners are you averaging? A: Roosevelt County has been averaging 64 detainees (per day) in 2024. There are 31 total positions at the facility with two vacant positions. Interviews are ongoing as personnel are working to fill these two slots. The Detention Center continues to provide c...

  • Clovis Music Festival this week

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Apr 13, 2024

    It’s time again for the Clovis Music Festival. This year’s headliners will include the rock band Gin Blossoms and country music’s Kip Moore who will headline the 37th annual event. “You don’t get this in Clovis every day,” said Kim Tipton, events coordinator for Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce. Other performances, all taking place at the Curry County Events Center, will include Bowling for Soup and a Pink Floyd laser spectacular, which will be a laser show along to the music of the popular ’70s band. A schedule of eve...

  • Q&A: Finance director talks budget and close out of fiscal year

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of interviews with local officials. Troy Hall is the finance director for Curry County. Q: How long have you worked with the county? A: I have worked for the county for 8 years. I was given the opportunity to internship with the County Finance Department my senior year of college and have been fortunate to climb the ladder within the county and have been the finance director for over two years now. I am very grateful to the county for giving a young college student from E...

  • Farwell poultry facility tests positive for bird flu

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    Cal-Maine Foods’ poultry facility in Farwell tested positive for bird flu last week, forcing the destruction of 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, officials said. “They’re going to be working hard to clean up the facility and get it ready to go back to work,” said Max Bowman, vice president and chief financial officer for the company. In a press release from the Texas Department of Agriculture, the loss accounts for approximately 3.6% of the company’s total flock. Cal-Maine, headquartered in Mississippi, is the U.S....

  • Portales City Council adopts backflow prevention plan

    Landry Sena|Updated Mar 30, 2024

    The Portales City Council adopted an ordinance for a cross connection, control, and backflow prevention plan that would allow the installation of backflow prevention valves. The ordinance was adopted on a 7-1 vote, with Councilor Rustin Self voting against. “This was something that wasn’t taken care of a few years back,” Ashley Flores, projects manager for the city said. Backflow valves are used to ensure that no hazardous condition exists between a non-potable and potable water supply. “There needs to be a backflow valve put...

  • Portales encouraged to continue conservation efforts

    Landry Sena|Updated Mar 30, 2024

    The Portales City Council heard another water update on Tuesday, however they were again encouraged to remain in stage three water restrictions. “I still feel like we need to continue our conservation efforts,” Chris Mendoza, public utility superintendent said. He said to the council at their regular meeting that the city should not have the restrictions lifted. The city entered in a stage three emergency on June 28, 2023. Mendoza said the city is currently waiting on the approval of phase three of the geophysical sur...

  • Opinions mixed on possibility of Lockwood transition

    Landry Sena, The Staff of The News|Updated Mar 30, 2024

    Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories looking at Clovis Municipal Schools plans for closure and repurposing. The series will continue over the next three weeks. Since the announcement of the possibility that Lockwood Elementary will become a preschool center last week, parents and others share mixed opinions regarding the proposal. Some believe the change is needed, however they don’t think Lockwood is the right answer, and a Pre-K program should be in a more central location. “My thought is that James...

  • Q&A: Medical director talks new roles, services

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

    Editor’s note: This is one in a continuing series of interviews with local officials. Dr. Ronald Carver is the newly hired medical director for the city of Portales and Roosevelt County. Q: Give us some of your background, who are you, your career, etc. A: I grew up in Fredonia, KS. I am a family medicine board certified physician and work full time as medical director for Nor Lea General Hospital emergency department in Lovington. I also provide medical director services for several EMS and emergency dispatch services in e...

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