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Articles written by Thomas Garcia


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  • New president selected at Mesalands in Tucumcari

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Jul 10, 2018

    TUCUMCARI — A four-month search for a new president has ended as Mesalands Community College selected John D. Groesbeck to lead the institution. He began work on Monday. His salary has not been released. “This is a great opportunity and it’s an honor to be here,” Groesbeck said in a news release. “I really enjoy this part of New Mexico. This region is one of the most spectacular, beautiful places within the state.” The Board of Trustees offered Groesbeck the contract to be the next president of Mesalands following a...

  • Man faces up to 12 years in child sex case

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Mar 14, 2018

    TUCUMCARI - A Tucumcari man faces up to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to charges of criminal sexual penetration involving two minors. Anthony Groomas, 29, appeared before District Judge Albert J. Mitchell to enter four guilty pleas to felony charges stemming from his arrest last August. Mitchell accepted the guilty plea and ordered Groomas sent to the state's Department of Corrections for a 60-day pre-sentencing evaluation. "Protecting New Mexico's...

  • Tucumcari judge suspended without pay

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Feb 22, 2018

    TUCUMCARI — The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday suspended Tucumcari Municipal Judge Joe Dominguez without pay pending the criminal proceeding of his recent arrest and driving while intoxicated charge. Dominguez, 71, was arrested Feb. 4 by the New Mexico State Police after he failed a field sobriety test. Police said Dominguez was charged and booked for DWI, and a subsequent breath test determined his breath alcohol content was .09. The New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission filed a petition in the State’s Supreme Cou...

  • Former Mesalands instructor pleads guilty to felony charges

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Nov 28, 2017

    TUCUMCARI — A former faculty member of Mesalands Community College has pleaded guilty to fourth-degree felony charges of child solicitation by electronic communication device and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Robert Moreau, 51, a former fine arts instructor at Mesalands, signed a plea agreement on Nov. 1 before 10th Judicial District Judge Ablert J. Mitchell. The two charges involved a then-minor student who said Moreau had sexual encounters with him in exchange for money and alcohol. Moreau agreed to a three-ye...

  • Mother accepts award for towman killed on roadside

    Thomas Garcia, Quay County Sun|Updated Nov 22, 2017

    The mother of a late Tucumcari resident received his posthumous Honor of Bravery medal at the American Towman Expo in Baltimore, Maryland. “When I think about how fast this has all come to be, I know it was because of who Bobby was,” said Linda Unruh, president of All-Rite Towing. Linda is the mother of Bobby Unruh, 37, of Tucumcari was killed on Feb. 19, at mile marker 318 on I-40 near Montoya. At the time of the accident Bobby Unruh was attempting to tow a commercial vehicle on I-40 that was broken down. “I was amazed to le...

  • Clerks learn voting system at training session

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Nov 4, 2017

    TUCUMCARI — More than a dozen county clerks and deputy county clerks from eastern New Mexico took part in a three-day training session outlining the state's new election and voter registration system at Mesalands Community College. The training, one of three held this week in the state, was conducted by Angel Espinoza of the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office. "The purpose of the training is to give the clerks and deputy clerks a chance to become comfortable with the s...

  • Tucumcari man jailed on burglary charges

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Oct 25, 2017

    TUCUMCARI — A Tucumcari man accused of fleeing law officers remained jailed Tuesday on multiple charges, including allegations of burglaries in Quay and Curry counties. Antonio Sandoval, 29, is in custody without bond at the Quay County Detention Center. On Oct. 16, records show, Sandoval was arrested following a pursuit by New Mexico State Police and Quay County Sheriff's Office that resulted in the recovery of a stolen vehicle, handguns and more. The pickup belongs to the Q...

  • Police led on chase through Quay County

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Sep 9, 2017

    TUCUMCARI — Three people were arrested Friday following a pursuit that covered more than 30 miles involving the Village of Logan Police Department and Quay County Sheriff's Office. "This was the best interagency cooperation during a pursuit that I have ever experienced," said Rodney Paris, LPD Chief of Police. "The pursuit began on 540 Loop in Logan after I recognized the driver of a white Impala Justin French, 26, an individual wanted on multiple felony warrants," said C...

  • Tucumcari man arrested in fatal shooting

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Aug 31, 2017

    TUCUMCARI — A Tucumcari man has been arrested and charged with murder following a homicide investigation Tuesday by New Mexico State Police in Tucumcari. Christopher Bamberg, 46, is charged with one count of murder following his arrest in connection to a fatal shooting in the 400 block of North College Street in Tucumcari. State police took over the investigation, said Lt. Herbert Hinders. The identity of the victim has not been released by State Police, and no reason has b...

  • Couple arrested in connection with 2016 death

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Aug 17, 2017

    TUCUMCARI — A pair of Tucumcari residents are out on bond, charged in connection with the 2016 death of a 1-year-old boy. Hope Bass, 25, and Daniel Martinez, 19, were arrested Aug. 10, and both entered no plea to four counts of child abuse — one resulting in death. The charges stem from the Aug. 5, 2016, death of Chase Bass. The two were arraigned Monday before Quay County Magistrate Judge TJ O'Quinn and released on $20,000 appearance bonds, with caveats including house arr...

  • Contract funding reduction limits services to Quay

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Jul 24, 2017

    TUCUMCARI — A reduction in contract funding of more than $150,000 will limit the service range of the home visits for expecting, parents, guardians of children, while eliminating Curry County services from Presbyterian Medical Services. The contract was cut from $259,000 a year to $105,000 a year, said Angie Coburn, PMS Central Region Director. Coburn, acting administrator of the Quay County Family Health Center, said the four-year contract, that ended in June, was between PMS and the Children Youth and Families Department. S...

  • Yes, John, you deserved the attention

    Thomas Garcia, Quay County Sun|Updated Jul 2, 2017

    Recently while attending a friend’s memorial service, I had the chance to visit with people I have not seen since I was a child. No one likes a funeral, but they always bring people together. At this particular memorial service we were saying goodbye to our friend John Cammack. I remember no matter where I was, if I saw John he would come over, shake my hand, ask how I was doing and inquire about my parents and sister. John’s passing was sudden and unexpected. That might be hard to believe considering he was 74, but he was...

  • Volunteer firefighter dies after injuries from blaze

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Jun 24, 2017

    NARA VISA — A Nara Visa volunteer firefighter died on Thursday after suffering burns trying to extinguish a fire that was more than seven miles long and three miles wide. John Cammack, 74, of Nara Visa, was severely burned after falling from a fire engine during a "burn over" Wednesday night, said Nara Visa Fire Chief Gary Girard. Girard said a second firefighter, Kyle Perez, was also injured during the incident. He said the firefighters were attempting to refill a fire e...

  • Firefighter dies from injuries

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Jun 23, 2017

    A Nara Visa volunteer firefighter died on Thursday after suffering burns trying to extinguish a fire that was more than seven miles long and three miles wide. John Cammack, 74, of Nara Visa, was severely burned after falling from a fire engine during a "burn over" Wednesday night, said Nara Visa Fire Chief Gary Girard. Girard said a second firefighter, Kyle Perez, was also injured during the incident. He said the firefighters were attempting to refill a fire engine with a...

  • Volunteer firefighters injured battling blaze

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Jun 23, 2017

    OBAR — Two Nara Visa volunteer firefighters were transported to hospitals in Amarillo and Lubbock on Wednesday after suffering burns while attempting to extinguish a fire south of Obar. The identity and conditions of the firefighters were not released. Nara Visa Fire Chief Gary Girard said the firefighters were injured while the Nara Visa, Rosebud and Logan fire departments fought five fires south of Obar. He said the fires were fueled by dry grass and spread quickly with wind gusts of 40 mph. Several departments in Quay C...

  • Triple digit temperatures expected again

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Jun 20, 2017

    Temperatures in the 100s will impact eastern New Mexico by mid-week once again, according to Albuquerque's National Weather Service. High temperatures are typical for this time of year, said Annette Mokry, meteorologist, adding that a high pressure system remains in place, continuing to deflect any potential storm systems from moving into the area. She said there is a 20 percent chance of isolated thunder storms on Wednesday and during the weekend. Today's high temperature...

  • Officials: Downed bear had 'unacceptable' traits

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Jun 9, 2017

    TUCUMCARI — A brown bear captured in Tucumcari on Monday has been put down because it exhibited “unacceptable behavioral traits,” said Game Warden Capt. Clint Henson. Henson said the bear was spotted in a highly populated area, which is an indication it was not frightened of interaction with humans, which could have proved dangerous. Some area residents expressed disappointment the 125-pound male bear was killed. “They told me it was too young to be released into the wild,” Tucumcari’s Bonnie Smith said. “However, t...

  • EPCOG authorizes sales, retains officers

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Jun 8, 2017

    CLAYTON — The Eastern Plains Council of Governments retained all officers, authorized the sale of three properties and approved the 2017-2018 budget during its annual meeting Wednesday in Clayton. The budget will be tight, but with approved adjustments EPCOG should be fine, said Erick Robinson, the council’s accountant. Officials from the eastern New Mexico communities participating met Tuesday with the officers at the Herzstein Historical Museum, voting to approve items that include a cost allocation plan that outlines EPC...

  • Bear trees self in Tucumcari

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Jun 6, 2017

    TUCUMCARI — Carmen Gonzales wasn't sure what to think at first. "I was inside and my daughters came in, slammed the door and screamed, 'There is a bear outside,'" she said. She thought the girls might be playing with her, but they weren't. There was a bear in a neighborhood tree. About 50 people soon were gathered in the area of South Seventh Street and West McGee Avenue, and the bear settled in for what became a two-hour standoff with city, county and state law officers. I...

  • County leaders air concerns on legislative session

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Apr 21, 2017

    TUCUMCARI — The state’s budget, cuts to funding and recent and future legislation were the topics of discussion Wednesday at a New Mexico Association of Counties meeting. NMAC board members, area county officials and state senators came together Thursday at Mesalands Community College for NMAC’s District 4 legislative meeting at the North American Wind Research and Training Center. District 4 consists of Curry, DeBaca, Guadalupe, Quay, Roosevelt and Torrance County. “Legislators need to go back to Santa Fe, work on a budget t...

  • Logan teacher files lawsuit against Public Education Dept.

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Apr 19, 2017

    A class action lawsuit has been filed by a Logan schools teacher against the New Mexico Public Education Department regarding the law that punishes teachers for using sick and personal leave. Hanna Skandera, New Mexico secretary of education, confirmed Monday that her department has received the suit and is reviewing it but offered no further comment. The class action suit was filed on March 30 in the First District Court in Santa Fe on behalf of Angela Medrow and all...

  • Family says borehole not about money

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Apr 2, 2017

    TUCUMCARI — Money has nothing to do with why the James family of Nara Visa agreed to participate in a local borehole test, family members insist. “We have received letters and calls asking us how much it will take to buy us out from being a part of this project,” said Elaine James. Elaine said to date, the family has not received any form of monetary payment. “They (company officials) have not even bought us dinner,” she said. Her son, Don James, said the family is participating because “on our land, we will have more input a...

  • Lawmakers talk 2017 state budget forecast

    Thomas Garcia|Updated Dec 8, 2016

    TUCUMCARI — Area legislators discussed the forecast of the 2017 budget, capital outlay and business regulations Tuesday night during a legislative forum at Mesalands Dinosaur Museum and Natural Science Laboratory. Sen. Pat Woods, R-Broadview, and Rep. Dennis Roch, R-Logan, spoke with residents at the forum organized by the Eastern Plains Council of Governments. Woods represents District 7 (Curry, Quay and Union counties) while Roch represents District 67 (Quay, Harding, Union, Curry, Roosevelt, San Miguel and Colfax c...

  • Texas car chase ends with shooting in New Mexico

    Thomas Garcia

    Quay County Sun [email protected] An 80-mile car chase, from Amarillo to San Jon, ended Monday morning with a 33-year-old man shot in a gunfight with police. Mario Montes, the driver of the fleeing vehicle, was shot in the lower abdomen by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper following the pursuit, officials said. He was shot after exiting the vehicle, running toward officers, and firing his handgun, striking an Amarillo Police Department vehicle once, according to a New Mexico State Police news release. Montes... Full story

  • Reader reaction — Oct. 9

    Thomas Garcia

    We asked our Facebook followers, “Halloween is four weeks from now. When you trick or treated, what candy or treat did you want in you bucket/bag the most?” • Dustie Evelyn Scroggins: I always looked for Snickers. • Elizabeth Czechorski: Anything chocolate. • Luis Gonzales: A sweet steak would be nice. • Brandy A. Difranco: More organic candy. • Thomas Garcia: Reese’s and Life Savers Gummies. Participate in our Facebook polls: https://www.facebook.com/clovisnewsjournal... Full story

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