State oversees water issues

By Claire Bushey In New Mexico, water is such a precious resource it naturally follows that many people and organizations devote their efforts to researching and managing it. The two major state organizations that control water-related matters are the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer and the Interstate Stream Commission. Separate government agencies, they […]

Too much water can stain teeth

By Gary Mitchell Most experts agree Clovis’ main water supply is low in chemicals that could cause major health problems. But it is not problem free. “The water in the Clovis area is a little high in naturally occurring fluoride. And it can do some cosmetic discoloration on teeth,” said Robin Casale, regional water quality […]

Cloud seeding director undaunted by critics

By Haley Rice Duncan Axisa believes he can make it rain. Axisa said this power is available to him through cloud seeding, the process of dropping silver iodide crystals into the supercooled upper parts of clouds. The crystals act as a gathering point, attracting and freezing the microscopically small droplets of water that make up […]

Agriculture top water user in area

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By Tony Farkas Agriculture is the foundation for eastern New Mexico’s economy. The cotton gins that didn’t stop production even on Thanksgiving Day, the farm implements seen along the roads and highways every spring and fall, and the aroma from the local feedlots and dairies offer plenty of physical evidence to support the statement. Statistics […]

Dryland farming may not be a viable option

By Tony Farkas Since the High Plains’ economy is based on agriculture, and since water for crops and livestock may soon be in short supply, one solution seems obvious: Farmers should stop irrigating and raise dryland crops. But that won’t work, most agricultural experts agree. “I don’t see that happening, not in my lifetime,” said […]

Dairies large, efficient water users

By Gary Mitchell Dairy operations in the region tend to use large amounts of water, but proponents say they use it efficiently — with little impact to the area’s ground-water source. “Sure they use a lot of water, but their water is never wasted,” said Stan Jones, Curry County extension agent. “The water is used […]

Cattle operations criticized over wastewater

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By Gary Mitchell Cows have long had homes in eastern New Mexico, in pastures and feedlots. So why are environmentalists concerned about dairy farms? Wastewater. “Feedlots tend not to be generating a large volume of wastewater,” said Maura Hanning, program manager for groundwater pollution prevention for the New Mexico Environment Department. “Dairies are the big […]

Dora School gets funding

By Mike Linn Residents in the Dora school district voted Tuesday to increase taxes that will help fund a revamping of the school. The bond passed by 124 to 78, or 61 percent of the vote. “It’s wonderful and it will mean a whole lot for many, many years to the community of Dora,” Dora […]

County to set rates for vehicle inspections

By Mike Linn The Roosevelt County Commission voted Tuesday to charge residents a set rate for choosing to have vehicles inspected by the sheriff’s department rather than by the Motor Vehicles Division. Roosevelt County Sheriff Tom Gossett said the free service provided by his department has at times tied up one of his employees two […]

Judge considers mending fences

By Mike Linn Municipal Judge Fred Arnold told the Portales City Council on Tuesday that he will think about resolving issues with Portales police officers who refuse to file cases in his court. “I will think about it … and I will let you know,” Arnold said. Arnold said he initially declined an offer of […]

Richardson to visit area

Freedom Newspapers SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson is scheduled to tour 11 communities — including Clovis and Portales today — during a three-day swing through southeast New Mexico, according to a news release from his office. Richardson will discuss the recent legislative session, and talk about upcoming initiatives, including the education-reform election in September […]

Lady Rams win district in golf

By Kevin Wilson The Portales golf teams are peaking at the right time. The Lady Rams won district for the second straight season, and the Portales boys finished firmly in second place thanks to a 73 from medalist Dale Welch in Monday’s district golf championship at New Mexico Military Institute. Both Portales teams had already […]

PHS to be well-represented in All-Stars

By Kevin Wilson There’s no telling who will come out on top in this summer’s North-South Class 3A All-Star games, or which former rivals will make the best teammates. The only thing that is for sure is that Portales High School will be well-represented. Tori Carter and Jennie Gentry were named to the inaugural 3A […]

Budget shortfalls lead to staff cuts

By Mike Linn Portales schools will lose two administrative positions and five years worth of savings to balance their budget, officials said on Monday. The Portales Municipal School Board approved the tentative budget by a 3-1 vote, citing unfunded government mandates to raise teachers’ salaries as reason for the cuts and draining of cash reserves. […]

Tornado season upon us

By Jack King May and June are peak tornado times for eastern New Mexico, which is on the far western edge of the nation’s “Tornado Alley.” And local officials take regular steps to prepare for potential storm damage, said Clovis/Curry County Emergency Management Director Ken De Los Santos — even though tornadoes are rare around […]

Tornado safety tips

The National Weather Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross offer these tips on preparing for a tornado: Tornado safety – Develop a plan for yourself and your family, at home, at work or at school. – Know your community and keep a highway map nearby to follow storm movement. – Have […]

Aquifer history goes back millions of years

By Claire Bushey The word “aquifer” comes from two Latin words, which together mean “to bring water.” That is what the Ogallala Aquifer has done for the High Plains for nearly a century. Named after the town of Ogallala, Neb., the aquifer covers 174,000 square miles in parts of eight states, including New Mexico and […]

Area could be dry by 2040 — or maybe sooner

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By Claire Bushey The question of how much water is left in the eastern New Mexico area has bedeviled politicians and business owners, scientists and ordinary consumers for decades. The answer is still unknown. New Mexico-American Water Co. officials have said they are prepared to provide eastern New Mexico with water through 2040. But Clovis […]

Farmers already feeling effects of disappearing water supply

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By Haley Rice and Dave Gragg Donald Jones has been farming 29 years, but he has had enough. He loves farming and would continue, but said he’s running out of water on his Farwell farm. And Jones is not the only area resident with water worries. Most experts agree all of eastern New Mexico and […]

Obits 5-06

Jerry Betts Services: 2 p.m. Tuesday at Restlawn Memorial Park, south of Portales. Mr. Jerry Betts, 47, of Portales, a former truck driver, died Saturday, May 3, 2003, at Plains Regional Medical Center in Clovis. He was born on Oct. 27, 1955, in Smyrna, Tenn., to Kathleen and Charles W. Betts. He moved to Portales […]