Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Articles written by Tony Parra


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  • Dairy owners feeling the heat

    Tony Parra

    With temperatures soaring across most of the country, dairy owners are sweating market conditions as much as the heat. Doug Idsinga, a Roosevelt County dairy owner who employs 20 people, said his business has been affected by the heat and the drought. Idsinga said he does his own farming and the lack of rain has hurt the corn he grows to feed his dairy cattle. The heat is causing mites to attack his corn and forcing him to pay to spray, he said. “I usually never have to spray for mites,” Idsinga said. “I have to this year... Full story

  • Sewer smell is back in Portales this summer

    Tony Parra

    A strong sewer smell is once again wafting across the city of Portales from the south this summer. Mayor Orlando Ortega said residents are letting city officials know they’re not happy with the odors emanating from the city’s wastewater treatment plant. “Here in the past few weeks I’ve been getting complaints daily by phone calls and e-mails,” Ortega said. City officials say the fix for the problem has been in the works for the last three months, but work at the treatment plant will continue for another three months. ...

  • Portales officials to consider housing options

    Tony Parra

    Portales city officials are considering using land located next to the golf course to build between 70 and 100 houses for Portales residents and are exploring options on how to do that. Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega said city officials are interested in using about 45 acres of the 150 acres the city owns by the golf course. “We’re excited about the opportunities,” Ortega said. “Our goal is to meet the housing needs of the growing community and be able to provide affordable housing.” One of the options is to utilize a $430,00... Full story

  • ENMU De Baca Hall, targeted for re-opening

    Tony Parra

    De Baca Hall has long been the first impression of Eastern New Mexico University for people driving west on First Street — that’s not necessarily a good thing, according to ENMU officials. ENMU administrators have included the De Baca renovation in a capital projects list to the New Mexico Higher Education Department so NMHED officials can see what funding requests will be for ENMU in the next five years. Patrice Caldwell, executive director of Planning and Analysis for ENMU, said De Baca Hall, built in 1962, was closed in th...

  • Hurlburt staff to visit area

    Tony Parra

    Personnel from Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla., arrive in eastern New Mexico today for a two-day visit to scout the area in preparation for next year’s arrival of the 16th Special Operations Wing. The state of New Mexico and the communities of eastern New Mexico are hosting the visit by 46 military officers, airmen and their spouses, according to a news release from Clovis city officials. The itinerary for the AFSOC visitors includes stops in Clovis, Portales and Cannon Air Force Base. An e... Full story

  • Hurlburt officials to tour Clovis and Portales

    Tony Parra

    Personnel from Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla., arrive in eastern New Mexico today for a two-day visit to scout the area in preparation for next year’s arrival of the 16th Special Operations Wing. The state of New Mexico and the communities of eastern New Mexico are hosting the visit by 46 military officers, airmen and their spouses, according to a news release from Clovis city officials. The itinerary for the AFSOC visitors includes stops in Clovis, Portales and Cannon Air Force Base. An e...

  • Bonem House opens doors

    Tony Parra

    The doors opened Tuesday to the Bonem House in Portales giving neglected and abused children, who otherwise have no place to go, a place to call home. The facility will house four boys and four girls between the ages of 7 and 12. David William Bonem, retired 9th Judicial District judge, credited Roosevelt County, Children Family Youth and Services and TeamBuilders officials for the youth-shelter idea becoming a reality. “My wife (Merriellen) and I had a dream, but without those entities to invest, it was just a dream and n...

  • Water outlook bleak for Portales

    Tony Parra

    Charlie Wilson, a geohydrologist hired by the city of Portales, said the High Plains (Ogallala)aquifer is being depleted at a rate of two to six feet per year as part of his annual water conservation and use report. “The use exceeds the supply,” Wilson said. “It’s not being recharged at the rate it is being pumped out.” Wilson made his presentation during a city meeting Tuesday. According to the annual report, the average remaining aquifer thickness is 60 feet. Both Wilson and Scott Verhines, Ute Water Project manager,... Full story

  • Portales airport will have new fuel farm access road

    Tony Parra

    The Portales Municipal Airport will be getting a new fuel farm access road as part of the airport expansion. City councilors recently accepted a $301,651 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. The grant will fund reconstruction and paving of the fuel farm access road, paving of the parking lot and the environmental assessment for the proposed extension and widening of runways 1 and 19. “We use the fuel farm access road every day,” Mike Parkey, Portales Municipal Airport director, said. “Right now it’s just made ou... Full story

  • Committee will look at six traffic alternative options

    Tony Parra

    Members of a steering committee charged with studying the future of Portales transportation agreed on researching six alternatives to decide if a bypass would be a viable option without losing revenue to Portales businesses. Scott Verhines, engineer with GC Engineering Inc. of Albuquerque, presented the six alternatives Friday afternoon during a steering committee meeting. Verhines said a high volume of commercial traffic in the downtown area has caused city officials to look at the future of Portales transportation. Debi... Full story

  • Portales weighing bypass

    Tony Parra

    Members of a steering committee charged with studying the future of Portales transportation agreed to research six alternatives to decide if a bypass would be viable without losing revenue to Portales businesses. Scott Verhines, engineer with GC Engineering of Albuquerque, presented the six alternatives Friday afternoon during a steering committee meeting. Verhines said a high volume of commercial traffic in the downtown area has caused city officials to look at the future of Portales transportation. Debi Lee, city manager,... Full story

  • Portales looking to solve dumpster dilemma

    Tony Parra

    Portales residents are leaving appliances, sheet rock materials, scattered garbage and furniture items next to dumpsters, and it’s causing a problem, say Portales city officials. Portales city officials said it’s increasing work for the limited solid waste crew and want the items placed in the Portales Convenience Center instead of the alleys. “The issue is how we are handling garbage placed around dumpsters,” Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega said. “We can’t keep up with it. There’s so much dumping that it’s taking a long t... Full story

  • City wants better handle on trash

    Tony Parra

    Portales residents are leaving appliances, sheet rock materials, scattered garbage and furniture items next to dumpsters and it’s causing a problem, say city officials. City staff members want these items placed in the city’s convenience center instead of the alleys. City officials said heavy appliances, sheet rock and other trash items are causing an increased amount of work for the limited solid waste crew. “The issue is how we are handling garbage placed around dumpsters,” Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega said. “We can’t kee...

  • Portales set to explore bypass

    Tony Parra

    Portales residents deal with potholes, bumps, uneven streets, high and heavy traffic so for the next year residents and city officials will be looking for answers. Engineers, hired by the city, will research whether having an alternative route will help First and Second street conditions and whether it would hurt Portales business owners. The first step is Friday when city administrators and steering committee individuals will discuss these issues with engineers from GC Engineering, Inc. of Albuquerque during the “Kickoff P...

  • Bonem House set to open

    Tony Parra

    A new youth shelter facility opening in Portales this month will give children who are out of options a safe place to live. The new Bonem House will open July 18 in Portales as an eight-bed treatment facility for children between the ages of 7 and 12. The just-completed facility located at 1111 W. Fir St., was built by Roosevelt County with funding through a state Community Development Block Grant. It will be operated by TeamBuilders Counseling Services which is headquartered in Tucumcari and serves Portales, Clovis and Tucum...

  • Former Roosevelt deputy sentenced to five years

    Tony Parra

    Editor’s note: The Clovis News-Journal does not routinely name victims of sexual assault. In this case, the victim has agreed to be publicly identified. A former Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday for having sex with a female inmate. Gary Adkins, 47, was convicted in February of criminal sexual penetration. Adkins will be on parole for at least five years after he is released and must register as a sex offender, 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said. Officials sai...

  • Former deputy gets five years on sex charge

    Tony Parra

    The Portales News-Tribune does not routinely name victims of sexual assault. In this case, the victim has agreed to be publicly identified. CLOVIS — A former Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputy will spend five years in prison for having sex with a female inmate. Ninth Judicial District Judge Ted Hartley on Thursday sentenced Gary Adkins, 47, for criminal sexual penetration against Ashley LeMier, 24, of Portales. Sentencing took place in the Curry County Courthouse. Hartley could have given Adkins a maximum seven years in pri...

  • Teens’ summer work spruces up city

    Tony Parra

    For the next six weeks the streets of Portales will have young teens with orange vests floating around picking up trash and painting over graffiti as part of a city summer work program. “I enjoy working with people I know,” Andrew Seales, 14, of Portales, said. “I took this job so I can prepare for other jobs and see what it’s like to have a job.” Veda Urioste, Portales city deputy clerk and Clean and Beautify Program coordinator, said city officials received a $10,000 New Mexico Clean and Beautiful grant from the New Mexic... Full story

  • City OKs bonds for $84 million

    Tony Parra

    Two major million-dollar projects regarding a new housing development for Eastern New Mexico University and expansion of the DairiConcepts plant took center stage at Thursday’s city meeting. Portales city councilors authorized the issuance of student housing revenue bonds in the amount of $14 million to finance the project. The bonds would be paid back over 30 years with the money generated from renting out to students, according to ENMU documents. The city is not obligated to finance any part of the project. During the c...

  • Portales Police making more cocaine arrests

    Tony Parra

    PORTALES — The number of cocaine-related arrests is on the rise, according to Portales Police officials. Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry gave some examples: n A recent drug bust near the city park uncovered 50 to 54 baggies of prepackaged cocaine. n A search warrant executed May 27 netted several arrested and the recovery of 60 grams of cocaine. n In April, an ounce of crack cocaine was seized. Portales Police Department Chief Jeff Gill said 129 individuals have been arrested on drug-related charges since May 2005, and the...

  • Portales seeing more cocaine arrests

    Tony Parra

    Portales police officers have seen increases in cocaine-related arrests and a decline of meth-related arrests, but Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said city and county police officers will continue to work together to combat the narcotics problem — no matter what drug it is. Portales Police Department Chief Jeff Gill said 129 individuals have been arrested on drug-related charges since May of 2005, and the more prevalent drug of choice in those arrests is cocaine. Berry said police officers have seen this trend more in t...

  • Residents lodge odor complaints at public meeting

    Tony Parra

    Brian Bonebright, vice president of operations for Dairi Concepts, summed up his company’s position when he said “Our intent is to fix the problem (odor).” However, whether or not residents living near the plant believe him is a different story. Some of the residents said they have heard that promise before. DairiConcepts officials tried to alleviate residents concerns during a meeting Tuesday evening at the Jake Lopez Building. DairiConcepts wants to expand the plant which produces milk protein concentrate. The public meeti... Full story

  • ENMU adding film major in fall semester

    Tony Parra

    The Eastern New Mexico University Regents approved a new film major that will have 33 core classes in its curriculum Saturday during a regular board meeting. Students can enroll in the degree program in the fall. Robert Vartabedian, ENMU vice president for academic affairs, said the new major in digital cinema arts will be taught by current faculty members and there will be no new additional staff members hired. “We’ve been working on this proposal for three years,” Vartabedian said. “Faculty saw a need. There is student... Full story

  • Regents OK film major

    Tony Parra

    It’s lights, camera, action in Portales, now that Eastern New Mexico University Regents approved a new film major, which will have 33 core classes, to its curriculum. During Saturday’s meeting regents approved a film degree program that students can enroll in this fall. Robert Vartabedian, ENMU vice president for academic affairs, said the new major in digital cinema arts will be taught by current faculty members and there will be no new additional staff members hired. “We’ve been working on this proposal for three years,...

  • Portales residents joyful over CAFB news

    Tony Parra

    Portales residents expressed relief and joy following Tuesday’s announcement that Cannon Air Force Base will be a new home for U.S. Air Force Special Operations. “I couldn’t be happier,” said an ecstatic Sharon Davis, co-owner of Calton Furniture in Portales. “This is great news for both communities (Clovis and Portales). We’ve come a long way since that day we were put on the list.” U.S. Department of Defense officials placed CAFB on the Base Realignment and Closure list on May 13, 2005. Immediately, local officials and...

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