Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Articles written by Madison Willis


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  • Roosevelt County explores solar options

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated Jun 15, 2024

    The Roosevelt County Commission is exploring the possibility of implementing solar energy into several county facilities. The feasibility assessment was presented by Souder, Miller and Associates Market Sector Manager Dale Lyons and Vice President of Positive Energy Solar Thomas Gray to the Commission at its regular meeting Tuesday. Lyons said SMA was contracted by the county to evaluate the technical and financial feasibility of developing net metered solar photovoltaic systems at Roosevelt County Detention Center, County...

  • Airman says fatherhood one of his greatest roles

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated Jun 15, 2024

    Some super heroes can run at the speed of light and some can shoot lasers out of their eyes. Wearing a cape and spandex suit to protect those in danger. For 5-year-old Jane Boyer her favorite superhero wears a camouflage uniform and has the special power to make her laugh. Boyer calls the hero, Mark Timson, her dad. "I love him so much, he is such a great dad," Boyer said. Tech Sgt. Timson has served in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations for about 11 years, but one...

  • Portales to explore privatizing water system

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated Jun 15, 2024

    The Portales City Council on Tuesday voted to give a private company – EPCOR – access to information about Portales’ water, wastewater and reuse system. The vote was 6-2, with Oscar Robinson and Jake Lopez in opposition. Neither offered a reason for voting no. “… (T)his is a non-binding resolution,” Councilor Eldon Merrick said. “It by no means commits either party to an agreement. This is just an exploratory thing to let them come in and look over our situation.” Portales has restricted water use for about a year amidst con...

  • ENMU, Portales pool negotiations ongoing

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated Jun 1, 2024

    Swimming pool negotiations between Eastern New Mexico University and the city of Portales are still ongoing, at least for now. Interim City Manager and Fire Chief T.J. Cathey presented a proposal to the City Council at Tuesday’s regular meeting, but it was tabled because of costs and concerns about parental supervision. In the proposal, the city would be required to hire and train a manager and 12 to 15 lifeguards. Cathey said if the city decided to include an admission fee to the pool, then ENMU would get 5% of those p...

  • Cannon's wing commander leaving for new assignment

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated Jun 1, 2024

    After serving a year at Cannon Air Force Base as wing commander, Col. Jeremy Bergin will be leaving in the summer for an assignment at Air Force Special Operations Command. Clovis Mayor Mike Morris said Bergin has gone above and beyond in serving his airmen. Morris said he was surprised and slightly disappointed to hear the news. He said he and Bergin had developed a friendship in making the two communities better for one another. “I’m happy for him and I certainly wish him well. He’s been a champion for the Clovis and Canno...

  • Senior Center opens to mixed reviews

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated May 28, 2024

    It's been a little over two weeks since the $8.9 million Hillcrest Senior Center opened its doors. Reviews from its patrons are mixed. Lupe Montoya said she appreciates the city's effort, but she has a few critiques. "I think they spent too much and didn't have to spend as much as they did," Montoya said. She wished the city would've added a private pool for senior citizens. "But it is a nice building and I'm glad the city did their part to look out for us," Montoya said....

  • Dozens honor fallen on Memorial Day

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated May 28, 2024

    Ken Lindsey clutched his wife's hand as he remembered those who gave all. "For those of us who were lucky to return home, it is our duty to honor our service members on this special day," Lindsey said. An Air Force veteran of 11 years, Lindsey, 83, was among an estimated four dozen who attended the Memorial Day observance at Lawn Haven Memorial Gardens in Clovis. Portales held a similar ceremony Monday morning. Later Monday, Clovis' Living Word Church hosted a barbecue and...

  • Food summit focuses on highlighting local food

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated May 25, 2024

    Planting produce began as a hobby six years ago for Baldemar Ortegon. To his surprise, he said, it turned out to be a talent. Now, growing 15 different types of spicy peppers, Ortegon said his ultimate goal as a producer is to make the best salsa. But he’s always been hesitant to put his precious produce into Clovis’ soil. “I’m not from New Mexico. I’m from an area where water and soil are abundant. So here I was told that things don’t grow due to the red sand and compact soil. … I have everything in pots. I was too afrai...

  • Water utility authority approves five-year plan

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated May 25, 2024

    The Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority on Thursday unanimously approved its five-year plan for infrastructure development. Water Authority Administrator Orlando Ortega along with Chief Procurement Officer Jacquelynn Bowens presented the resolution. “The (plan) is an important planning document that details the ENMWUA’s project priorities over the next five years and the funding needed to accomplish those projects,” Ortega said. Ortega said the A presentation went before the ENMWUA Finance Committee before going to th...

  • Portales motorcyclist dies in hit and run

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated May 24, 2024

    A Portales motorcycle driver died Friday after what law officers described as a hit and run with a pickup on U.S. 70 and South Roosevelt Road P. Roosevelt County Sheriff Javier Sanchez said the motorcyclist was 24-year-old Taylor Gulley. Sanchez said the crash was reported to officials at 2:27 p.m. Sanchez said there was a witness report of a “blue pickup” pulling a single-axle utility-style trailer near the scene. Officials said the vehicle traveled southbound on South Roosevelt Road P after the crash. Gulley was taken to... Full story

  • Base, range designated 'sentinel landscape'

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated May 18, 2024

    As of Wednesday, Cannon Air Force Base along with Melrose Air Force Range and the 2.4 million surrounding acres of land have been designated a sentinel landscape. Being the first for the state of New Mexico, the Eastern New Mexico Sentinel Landscape is one of five new landscapes within the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership. "Eastern New Mexico is about to make a very important, indelible mark on a landscape that has significant influence on this side of the state... We have...

  • Senior center hosts grand opening

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated May 18, 2024

    After 10 years of planning and several months of construction the Hillcrest Senior Center hosted its grand opening on Thursday. The entire project cost $8.9 million to get to completion. Senior Service Director Barbara Riggan said the plan and design of the senior center started in 2014. "It's overwhelming. I'm just so happy that we're able to provide this for the city and I'm ready to continue working towards more activities and programs for our community," Riggan said....

  • Portales schools to see $1.8 million budget increase

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated May 14, 2024

    Portales schools will see a $1.8 million increase in their budget for the 2024-25 school year. However, school officials still have worries on what the next year holds. Portales Municipal Schools Financial Director Sarah Stubbs presented the budget to the school board at their regular Monday meeting. Stubbs said the district’s FY24-25 budget is about $37.6 million, increasing from last year’s $35.8 million. “The budget is a plan. It is what we think is going to happen based on information that we have,” Stubbs said. She cla...

  • Curry approves capital improvement plan for senior center

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated May 13, 2024

    The Curry County Commission on Monday unanimously approved an infrastructure capital improvement plan for the La Casa Senior Center. Ben Roberts, public services director for Curry County, presented the resolution to commissioners. “The due dates for the ICIP’s have been moved up with the senior center being due on May 15 this year,” Roberts said. Roberts said the resolution included for the commission to approve the La Casa Senior Center’s ICIP for the years 2026 to 2030. According to documentation the plan include...

  • Clovis school board passes budget

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated May 11, 2024

    The Clovis Municipal Schools board of education unanimously passed a $173.9 million budget for fiscal year 2024-25 Tuesday at their regular monthly meeting. Marking this year’s budget $4.7 million less than the previous fiscal year. CMS Senior Director of Finance Heather Nieto said there were some factors that played into the budget decrease. “Some of the biggest reasons for the budget to change are the expiration of some funds as of June 30 and the rise in insurance costs going up 15.53% as well as the increase in risk ins...

  • Officials vote for 175-day calendar

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated May 11, 2024

    In hopes to find “a middle ground” from the state’s Public Education Department’s proposed changes to school calendars, the Clovis Municipal Schools Board on Tuesday unanimously voted for a 175-day calendar. CMS Superintendent Renee Russ said the new calendar will preserve eight professional days for staff. “The ironic thing about this calendar as compared to the 180-day calendar we put together just in case is that this generates more total instructional hours than a 180-day student calendar would,” Russ said. Russ said t...

  • Officials present new option for railroad overpass

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated May 11, 2024

    Highway officials on Thursday in Texico presented a new option for building a railroad overpass near the New Mexico and Texas state line. Many of the residents who came to review the new schematic expressed support, but also concern. Kylan Francis, director of transportation planning and development in Texas, said an earlier plan to build an overpass through the business districts of Texico and Farwell received only about 50% support. That’s why officials went back to the drawing board. The newest option would divert t...

  • Man suspected in 2023 slaying booked

    Madison Willis|Updated May 7, 2024

    A man suspected in the 2023 slaying of a Clovis woman was booked into the Curry County Detention Center on Friday. Chasidy Ray Marque Mathis, 37, is being held without bond, jail records show. District Attorney Quentin Ray said Mathis faces charges of second-degree murder, shooting at a dwelling or occupied building, receipt, transportation or possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon and child abuse. Mathis had been pursued by authorities since Melissa Silva was shot on Sept. 20, 2023, in her home. The...

  • Clovis commission approves $2.8 million park project

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated May 4, 2024

    Big changes are coming to Clovis’ parks after the Clovis City Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a $2.8 million improvement project. “It’s a pretty extensive list as you can see. … It’s one of those things that we are actively trying to improve and give back,” Parks and Recreation Director Russell Hooper told commissioners. Commissioner Megan Palla, who also chairs the Parks, Recreation and Beautification Committee, noted “as many parks as possible” are part of the project. “We tried to hit as many sports as possibl...

  • Pioneer Days coming up this weekend

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated Apr 30, 2024

    For the first time in 52 years, the annual Pioneer Days Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo is being held the first weekend of May instead of the first weekend of June. Shane Clements, vice president of the Curry County Mounted Patrol, which sponsors the rodeo, said the three-day event moved to better accommodate rodeo contestants and contractors who are seeing more options during the summer. "Places up north such as Utah are hosting events in June. So in order to...

  • Portales names fire chief as interim city manager

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated Apr 13, 2024

    Portales City Council members on Tuesday unanimously named city Fire Chief T.J. Cathey their interim city manager. Council member Veronica Cordova said Cathey will be interim manager until June 21 or until the Council finds a successor to Sarah Austin, who was fired early this month. Cathey said it’s his understanding he will be paid $5,538.46 twice a month “as an incentive in addition to my regular pay check.” “He understands that should we find somebody to take the job … That will be the end of that contract,” Portales Ma...

  • Hillcrest Park Zoo holds educational center grand opening

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    From hissing cockroaches to energetic green iguanas, Clovis residents were able to learn about the lifestyles of exotic species at Hillcrest Park Zoo's Educational Center grand opening. More than 50 people, including families and local city leaders, came to Friday's big reveal. Among them, smiling ear to ear, was Zoo Director Stephanie Chavez, who has been planning big changes since she started working for the zoo about a year ago. "I visited a lot of zoos and I realized...

  • Portales fire chief interim city manager

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    Portales Fire Chief TJ Cathey will serve as interim city manager until the City Council replaces Sarah Austin who was fired in a 6-2 Council vote on Tuesday. Cathey said he will direct the public to the resources it needs and take over some “in-charge” duties. “I am willing to step in as interim, to be a team player and help out, but I am not interested in the City Manager position at this time,” he wrote in a text message Friday. He said the Council agenda calls for an executive session at this Tuesday’s meeting to discus...

  • Solar eclipse on its way

    Madison Willis|Updated Apr 2, 2024

    Most of us will step outside and look up when we know there's an eclipse. Jaslyn Gilbert and Kilian von Bibra are going beyond that – in this case, about 500 miles beyond. The Portales couple plans to make the seven-hour drive to San Antonio, Texas, so they can witness Monday's solar eclipse. That's expected to be an ideal location to experience the moon totally blocking out the sun, which only happens a few times in a lifetime. Millions of people are expected to travel to s...

  • ENMU's annual Lectureship set for April 11-13

    Madison Willis, The Staff of The News|Updated Apr 2, 2024

    Writing is a solitary profession, but in Betty Williamson’s eyes her Uncle Jack Williamson always knew how to bring a community together through his literature. “We all really love this community and Jack certainly did love living in Portales and love his long association with ENMU,” she said. Eastern New Mexico University hosts its 47th annual Jack Williamson Lectureship April 11-13. “ENMU has such a rich history with science fiction through Dr. Jack Williamson’s incredible life and legacy. ENMU is honored to be a part of t...

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