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Articles written by Steve Hansen


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  • Walmart competitors see customer increase

    Madison Willis and Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Sep 21, 2023

    With Clovis’ Walmart shut down by the Sept. 3 fire, competitors have seen an increase in customers and they’ve hired more staff to accommodate them. Bill Bargman, director of Clovis’ Albertson’s grocery, said they’ve hired 49 new staff members, who will be finishing orientation training by the end of the week. “The customers from Walmart pretty much had to go to four to five different stores. … So we’ve seen quite a few customers here,” Bargman said. Bargman said the grocery store has also added additional inventory to its...

  • 911 call leads to suspect's arrest

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Sep 19, 2023

    The man accused of starting the Sept. 3 Walmart fire was arrested Wednesday in Lub- bock based on a 9-1-1 call from a person who recognized him on a Lubbock street, according to Lubbock police. Public Information Officer Amber Ed- wards said Jimmy Guillen, 59, was taken into custody at 1:25 p.m. (CDT) Wednesday at 34th Street and Quaker Avenue in Lubbock after a 9-1-1 caller said he thought he recog- nized Guillen walking on a Lubbock street. "We sent officers out, and they... Full story

  • Ground broken on pavilion

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Sep 9, 2023

    The new Curry County Multi-Purpose Livestock Pavilion is expected to host the 2024 Curry County Fair's livestock competitors after ground was broken Wednesday for construction of the $15 million, nearly 58,000-square-foot facility. Upon completion, expected in early summer 2024, according to Curry County Manager Lance Pyle, the new, enclosed arena will feature 250 stalls for animals and 23 wash bays for livestock grooming, 15 garage door bays, a new show office, a pedestrian m...

  • Fire shuts down Walmart

    Steve Hansen and David Stevens, The Staff of The News|Updated Sep 9, 2023

    The first reports that Walmart was on fire were received by Clovis Fire Department at 3:37 a.m. Sunday. Six minutes later the first firefighting unit was on scene. Soon after that, "everything we had, literally," was on its way to the region's largest retail outlet, Deputy Fire Chief Fay Craigmile said. And it was already too late to prevent what she and others have called "significant damage." "We didn't initially see anything suspicious ... but just the heavy fireload that...

  • Federal, state, local officials investigating Walmart fire

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Sep 4, 2023

    A Walmart spokesperson on Monday thanked local officials for their quick response to Sunday’s fire, but offered little information about the store’s future. “We’re grateful to local emergency crews for their quick response to our store,” Walmart’s Amanda Foster wrote in an email responding to questions from The News. “There were no injuries to associates or customers, and we’re currently assessing building damage. We’ll continue working with local authorities and focusing on the well-being of our associates. “We a...

  • Walmart worker: 'It was scary'

    Steve Hansen and David Stevens, The Staff of The News|Updated Sep 4, 2023

    Wilson Alegria was stocking Walmart's frozen food section when the commotion began around him about 3:30 a.m. Sunday. "All the fire alarms went off, everyone started running toward the exit screaming 'Fire!'" he said. "It was scary. You could tell all the other employees were pretty shocked." Alegria said he was one of about 50 Walmart employees working the overnight shift when the fire broke out, likely in the automotive section on the store's south side. The building was... Full story

  • Clovis Walmart sustains 'significant' damage in fire

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Sep 4, 2023

    Fire broke out at Clovis' Walmart early Sunday morning, significantly damaging the building. Officials said it began about 3:30 a.m., but no cause was immediately known. Firefighters from throughout the region were on scene. The fire appeared to be out by mid-morning but burned more than three hours. Police said all Walmart employees had been accounted for and no injuries had been reported. "I'm told the building has suffered significant loss including roof collapse," Clovis M... Full story

  • Mayor: Continued investments on Cannon horizon

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Aug 26, 2023

    New Mexico's U.S. senators and local officials who attended a meeting Tuesday at Cannon Air Force Base with high-ranking Air Force officials said they came away thinking that long-term commitment from the U.S. Air Force to the future of Cannon Air Force Base was secured. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., who helped organize Tuesday's meeting, said reassurances for Cannon's future from ranking leaders gave "powerful" reasons for optimism. The discussions at Cannon involved Hei...

  • Vocational programs focus of Heinrich visit to CCC

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Aug 22, 2023

    Vocational programs – the kind that result in $60,000 to $80,000 in annual income – had the spotlight Monday when U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., visited Clovis Community College. Heinrich also had a particular interest in nursing and allied health programs, having helped arrange for $1 million to be set aside in a general appropriations act to help fund expansion of the campus's Allied Health building. After meeting Monday with Robin Jones, CCC's interim president, and...

  • Officials, community inaugurate Portales City Hall

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Aug 8, 2023

    City officials and community members gathered Monday morning to make it official that Portales has a new city hall. The new Portales City Hall was formally inaugurated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday. The ribbon cutting was followed by a presentation of a large painting in the new city's hall's conference room, then cupcakes and beverages and unguided tours of the building. The painting was presented by Karl Terry, executive director of the Roosevelt County...

  • Jury acquits ex-deputy of child abuse

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Aug 5, 2023

    A Ninth Judicial District Court jury on Tuesday found former Roosevelt County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher McCasland not guilty of felony child abuse. The jury handed down the verdict on the second day of a two-day trial in Portales before Judge Drew Tatum. McCasland, 37, was charged on March 1, 2022, with child abuse not causing great bodily injury, a third-degree felony, in Roosevelt County Magistrate Court. New Mexico State Police Agent Justin Tiemann charged in an arrest...

  • Cannon's future 'bright'

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Aug 5, 2023

    The Air Force remains committed to Cannon Air Force Base and "the future is bright," Clovis Mayor Mike Morris said Friday. Morris and other local officials held a press conference at the Clovis-Carver Public Library to address community concerns after officials announced last week that 350 Cannon personnel and seven MC-130J aircraft will be relocating to Arizona in 2027. "It can make our hearts skip a beat," Morris said, anytime there are reports of a reduction in force at...

  • Portales district denies teacher claims

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Aug 1, 2023

    The Portales Municipal School District has filed a response to a federal lawsuit by a former teacher who claims she was forced to resign her teaching job due to pressure from district officials. The response does not go into detail but denies the claims of Kelly Cradock, a former Portales High School teacher, who sued the school district in federal court after she claims to have been forced to resign for teaching the book “The Hate U Give” to her freshman honors English class. Cradock’s lawsuit, filed June 16, named as defen...

  • New Special Ops wing scores Cannon resources

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Aug 1, 2023

    The transfer of about 350 military personnel and several MC-130J aircraft from Cannon Air Force Base to an Arizona air base over the next several years is part of a larger effort to create a new Special Operations wing at the Arizona base. That's according to Air Force and Congressional officials. Cannon is among three Air Force bases that will contribute to the new "Power Projection Wing" of the Air Force Special Operations Command at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Ariz. The...

  • High temps not going anywhere

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Jul 25, 2023

    Oppressive heat has settled in across New Mexico and west Texas and does not intend to leave any time soon, a National Weather Service meteorologist said on Monday. The “heat dome” that has locked in high pressure and temperatures maxing out in the 90s and 100s, is resting over the Southwest, including most of Arizona and New Mexico and west Texas, Meteorologist Sara Bemis said. That dome is a “ridge of high pressure” being held in place by the jet stream, and the Southwest is on the wrong side of the curve in the jet ste...

  • Curry, Roosevelt sue over health insurance

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Jul 9, 2023

    Curry and Roosevelt counties and the city of Portales are among 24 counties and six cities that have sued the New Mexico General Services Department (GSD) and its cabinet secretary to challenge invoices to cover deficits in the state’s employee health insurance fund. The counties filed suit on June 30 through New Mexico Counties (NMC), an advocacy group all belong to. The cities filed suit on Wednesday on their own and through the New Mexico Self-Insurer’s Fund. Both suits were filed with the Seventh Judicial District Cou...

  • Our people: Keeping ENMU in the green

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Jul 1, 2023

    Noelle Bartl has been raising funds for Eastern New Mexico University for 23 years and there is no signs she is letting up any time soon. Bartl serves as ENMU's associate vice president for advancement and executive director of the ENMU Foundation. She is proud to note that the advancement office has raised $42 million for the university since 1978, which she attributes to "team efforts," and that this year, the ENMU Foundation has awarded $679,000 in scholarships to ENMU...

  • Portales water emergency declared at council meeting

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Jul 1, 2023

    A Stage 3 emergency water emergency that went into effect Wednesday was properly declared by John DeSha, the city’s public utilities director, according to Portales City Manager Sarah Austin. The Portales City Council did not declare the emergency, but two councilors reacted to it at a council meeting on Tuesday. Ward B Councilor Oscar Robinson said it is unfair to place restrictions on residents when the city will not fix leaks in its own water system. A water leak near his home has persisted for weeks, he said, and has not...

  • Nationally featured fugitive in local jail

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Jun 24, 2023

    A murder suspect whose case is set for trial Nov. 3 is housed in a maximum-security cell in the Roosevelt County Detention Center, according to RCDC records. Jorge Rico-Ruvira, 35, of Roswell, is accused of first-degree murder in the Jan. 7, 2020 slaying of Isela Mauricio-Sanchez, 27, in Roswell. He was transferred to the Roosevelt County Detention Center on May 12. Roosevelt County officials declined to state why Rico-Ruvira was sent to the Roosevelt County facility, and attempts to reach the Fifth Judicial District...

  • Our people: Closing a chapter

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Jun 24, 2023

    After 30 years of providing uniforms for nurses and other medical employees of Curry and Roosevelt hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices, Mickey Erwin plans to close Mickey's Uniforms and More for good on Friday. It was a hard decision, she said, a move she and Tiffany Romero, her long time employee, had been talking about for a couple of years, even before COVID-19 struck, instantly accelerating the medical profession into high gear. Now, however, the decision is final,...

  • Our people: Military dreams fulfilled

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Jun 17, 2023

    James Burroughes spent four years at Clovis High School and is a May graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He is now a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and merely a few weeks away from becoming a civil engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. While he is spending time at home between West Point graduation and his first duty assignment, he is busy organizing and preparing for his next assignment and practicing for a national pistol-shooting...

  • Portales making changes to dog rules

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Jun 17, 2023

    To deal with problems caused by dog packs in Portales, the city’s animal control services division is holding dogs picked up by police for only three days before euthanizing them instead of 10 days, the usual waiting period. Kelly McClellan, the city’s Community Services director who added animal control director duties on Monday, said the new policy has been made necessary by the city’s limited kennel space and an urgent need to get problem dogs off the street. “We have kennel space for some dogs, but we’ve been trying to...

  • Portales City Council approves speed enforcement ordinance

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Jun 17, 2023

    On a 6-2 vote, the Portales City Council on Tuesday approved an ordinance that authorizes the city to install automated speed enforcement systems, monitor the speed of vehicles traveling in the city, and enforce the speed limit through speed enforcement cameras. Voting against the ordinance were Ward A Councilor Jake Lopez and Ward B Councilor David Boan. According to the text of the ordinance, the ordinance was proposed to address concerns of Portales residents who fear walking, bicyclng or taking transit in the city. Furthe...

  • Students appear at Portales meeting in support of coach

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Jun 13, 2023

    About 20 students and parents appeared at a Portales school board meeting Monday to protest the apparent dismissal as a coach of a long-time Portales High School teacher and coach. Ruben Telles was apparently relieved of coaching duties but kept his teaching assignment as an English teacher, Doug Pfaffenberger, one of the parents who spoke in Telles’ favor Monday, said. Superintendent Johnnie Cain said following an executive session Monday he could not discuss any matters involving Telles because of personnel privacy r...

  • EPCOG board approves budget, work plan

    Steve Hansen, The Staff of The News|Updated Jun 10, 2023

    Keeping an even keel seemed to be the order of the day Wednesday as the Eastern Plains Council of Governments (EPCOG) held its annual meeting in Elida. The council board of directors re-elected Roman Garcia, the mayor of the town of Vaughn, as its chair: Cynthia Lee, clerk of the village of San Jon , as vice chair and Leona Powell, clerk-treasurer of the town of Grady, as treasurer for the next year. Garcia faced off with Kim Summers, clerk-treasurer for the town of Elida....

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