Year in Review
Editor’s note: The following is a brief look at the stories that made news locally in 2005. The PNT will run the year-in-review in each of the coming issues through at least Jan. 1.
• Schools work on test performance — The Portales school system took further steps to better its performance in standardized tests.
• Portales on summer tour — Channel 10 in Amarillo made plans to include Portales on its Summer Celebration Tour, which had its newscasts aired from neighboring cities.
• Independence Day celebrated — Residents celebrated Independence Day with the annual fireworks display at Greyhound Arena.
• Valdez plays with Diamondbacks — Iszac Valdez of Portales got set to play in a national tournament with the Amarillo Diamondbacks.
• Man killed in accident — Portales Police said that a vehicular accident outside of Goober McCool’s claimed the life of Roy Parker. Parker was pinned to a building when his truck took off due to a mechanical error.
• Skaters get reprieve — The city council held off on a decision to close down the skate park at Rotary Park after several teens and parents showed up to protest the decision.
• Little Leaguers host tourney — Travis Stobb’s walk-off homer gave Roosevelt County a 7-6 win in the first round of the Little League tournament.
• Cannon squadron deactivated — The 428th Squadron, made up of officers from the Republic of Singapore, was deactivated at Cannon Air Force Base.
• Tucumcar drops Ute project — Tucumcari opted out of the Ute Water Project. The city became the fourth entity to drop out of the project, which would create a pipeline from Ute Lake to participating communities.
• Chunn homicide shakes Causey — Causey was rocked by the shooting death of Jimmy “Bo” Chunn, a 71-year-old rancher.
• Loaders compete at Cannon — Weapon loaders at Cannon Air Force Base competed for the title of best loading team in a competition held at the base.
• Turnout for Summer Celebration good — Portales turned out for Channel 10’s Summer Celebration Tour, which included a signup for the “Amazing Race” program.
• Bike team stops in Portales — The Journey of Hope bicycle team rode through Portales as part of its nationwide tour to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities.
July 12: Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputy Gary Adkins, out on bond, faced charges of criminal sexual penetration for an alleged sexual incident with an inmate that took place off of the jail property. Two members of the Base Realignment and Closure committee announced they would abstain from voting on the fate of Cannon Air Force Base because its closure would result in military gains for their home states.
Bees invade county — Africanized honey bees were confirmed in Roosevelt County. The bees, which had been previously confirmed in 11 other New Mexico counties, are more aggressive defenders than standard bees.
• Bill Wahlman Classic in 35th year — Area tennis players got set for the 35th annual Bill Wahlman Classic, a tournament formerly known as the Portales Open.
• Little Leaguers victorious — Roosevelt County defeated Quay County 6-3 to win the District 3 12-13-year-old title.
• No arrests in Chunn case — No arrests had been made in connection to the death of Jimmy “Bo” Chunn, who police believed was shot July 8 at his home.
• Arrest related to Chunn case made — An arrest was announced — on unrelated charges — on a man named on a search warrant in the case of Jimmy Chunn. Donald Taylor, 24, of Rogers was named in a warrant, but Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said the arrest was a probation violation.
• DOD didn’t consider other options — The Department of Defense disclosed that it did not consider a scenario that would have kept Cannon Air Force Base off of the list of recommended closures.
• ENMU welcomes reptile — Eastern New Mexico University received a new resident — a South American alligatorid.
• Pentagon downplays Cannon’s value — The Pentagon said that Cannon Air Force Base had little to offer the Air Force and that the Melrose Bombing Range was “rudimentary.”
• Meth ordinance approved — Both the Roosevelt County Commission and the Portales City Council approved the methamphetamines ordinance introduced by 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler. The ordinance would limit the purchase of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, which is used in the production of methamphetamines.
• ENMU track signs 14 — The Eastern New Mexico University track team announced 14 new recruits.
• Street repair coming — The city prepared for nearly $190,000 in street repairs.
• Fair preparations made — The countdown began for the Roosevelt County Fair, with a month to go before the fair.
• All-stars state bound — The Roosevelt County 11-12-year-old all-stars prepared for the state tournament in Carlsbad.
• Bike path discussed — Portales MainStreet considered a bike/walk path from Eastern New Mexico University to the downtown area of Portales.
• Enrollment increases at ENMU — Eastern New Mexico University reported a summer enrollment of 1,411, an increase of 10 percent from the previous summer semester.
• Wahlman hosts statewide tennis players — Tennis players from across the state took part in the Bill Wahlman Classic, the annual tennis tournament named after the recently-retired tennis coach at Portales High School.
Ranchers say testing too restrictive — Local ranchers felt the testing procedures for tuberculosis in cattle were too restrictive.
• Peanuts looking good — The peanut crop in Roosevelt County got off to a promising start, thanks in large part to a high amount of winter moisture.
• All-stars eliminated at state — The Roosevelt County 11-12-year-old All-Stars were eliminated in the state tournament by Enchantment of Los Lunas. The senior league team, composed of 15- and 16-year-olds, won 10-5 in the opener of its state tournament in Albuquerque.
• Ute deadline created — A deadline to end financial obligations was created for entities that had dropped out of the Ute Water Project.
• Senior leaguers fall to Raton — The Roosevelt County Senior league team was eliminated by Raton.
• Rainfall is kind to wheat farmers — Local farmers saw some huge increases yield in their wheat crops due to high amounts of precipitation, with some farmers seeing triple their normal crop.
• Olympian conducts volleyball camp — New Angelo State volleyball coach and former Olympic volleyball team member Ruth Lawanson helped conduct a camp at Portales High School. Lawanson would later sign Portales senior Megan Kabrick to play volleyball for her squad starting in the 2006 season.
• ENMU expecting big fall enrollment — Eastern New Mexico University geared up for its fall semester, expecting about 4,000 students.
• Old-Timers Day held in Kenna — Current and former citizens of Kenna met at the town’s community center for their bi-annual Old-Timers Day.
• Portales schools fail state standards — For the second year in a row, Portales schools failed state standards. Many parents agreed with their school principals that the testing measures were not fair and do not help schools teach the proper subjects.
• Abengoa expands plant — Various entities descended on Portales to celebrate the plant expansion for Abengoa Bioenergy. The plant doubled its production to 30 million gallons of ethanol per year.
• Governor promotes tax-free weekend — Gov. Bill Richardson visited Portales to promote the state’s first tax-free weekend. The weekend allowed merchants to not charge state, county and city taxes on goods like clothing and school supplies.
• Cement shortage cripples projects — A cement shortage created construction problems for many projects in the Portales area.
• Dairies helping smaller school’s enrollment — Area school officials said dairies helped smaller schools because their presence guaranteed an influx of students.
• ACLU springs street preacher — The American Civil Liberties Union helped free a Portales man arrested for street preaching. Portales Police maintained that Shawn Miller, 33, was creating a disturbance to traffic and acted in a hostile manner when an officer tried to diffuse the situation.
• Hounds open practice — Despite a rainshower that forced the team inside, new Greyhound football coach Mark Ruibado felt the team’s first day of practice was a success.
• City councilor hospitalized — City council member Alfred Bachicha was hospitalize following surgery to remove cancerous tumors in his colon.
• Football playoffs expanded — Area football teams looked forward to an expanded playoff format that would allow 16 teams to compete, double the field in years past.
• Saturday edition launched — The Portales News-Tribune launched its Saturday edition.
• Heflin retains seat on peanut board — R. Wayne Heflin was selected to his second term on the Peanut Standards Board. The board includes two Portales residents, Heflin and Sunland Inc. President Jimmie Shearer.
• Tax free successful for large retailers — The tax-free holiday was judged to have more impact on bigger stores, while small merchants noticed little difference in shopping trends.
• Former Portales man dies in Afghanistan — The death of Damian Garza, a former Portales resident, was announced by the military. Garza died in Afghanistan when his vehicle slid off the road and into a river.
• Airport officials told to plan — Portales airport officials were told to plan for the future if they wanted funding through state and federal funds or private investors.
• Dora school start delayed — The start of school in Dora was delayed due to ongoing construction.
• Baca charged in May death — Richard Baca, charged in the May 2004 death of Amber Robinson, requested a change of attorney.
• Health fair held — A free health fair was scheduled for Portales by La Casa.
• PHS highlights online courses — Portales High School teachers held an open house to show its new onlne course option, which allowed students to take pre-packaged courses created by the teachers.
• Legion serves 100th funeral — An American Legion group folded a flag to give a military funeral to Curtis Tiffin. The funeral was the 100th serviced by the American Legion members.
• Joint Strike Fighter considered for Cannon — New Mexico’s congressional delegation said that Cannon Air Force Base would be a relatively inexpensive option for the Joint Strike Fighter, also known as the F-35. Local landowners agreed to sell land around Cannon Air Force Base to the state. The land would then be given to the base, allowing it to double in size.
• Streets of city flood — Portales received nearly two inches of rain during the day, causing many streets to have excess water.
• Baca gets new lawyer — A change in counsel was announced for Richard Baca, accused of the 2004 slaying of Amber Robinson.
• Driving linked to truancy — A new truancy law announced by 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler could result in a loss of driving privileges.
• Elida goes back to school — Elida had its first day of school and added an arts program in its high school curriculum.
• Juanito’s gets beer and wine — Juanito’s, a Mexican restaurant in Portales, was approved for a beer and wine license. The license, which had also been previously approved for Pizza Hut, allowed the restaurant to serve beer and wine at a lower licensing fee than a full liquor license, but had more restrictions.
• PHS football begins — Portales prepared for its football scrimmage at Littlefield, Texas.
• Floyd school in session — The first day of school was called “great” by Floyd Superintendent Paul Benoit.
• Ute Project regroups — The eight remaining entities of the Ute Water Project pressed on and looked at new scenarios that differed from the project that had 12 members.
• Skate park relocation studied — A committee explored relocation for the Portales skate park, currently located at Rotary Park.
• Dawg Days held — Eastern New Mexico University welcomed its freshmen with its annual Dawg Days event.
• Littlefield shuts out Portales — The Portales football team was shut out in its scrimmage at Littlefield, Texas.
• PHS volleyball gets ready — The Portales volleyball team got set for its season opener the following weekend in Clovis.
• Fair judging begins — Roosevelt County fair entrants had some items judged in advance of the fair.
• Portales school enrollment increases — The Portales school district announced a small increase in enrollment.
• Dora schools work around construction — Dora finally opened school after multiple construction delays. The school would be able to make up for missed days by having some days on Mondays, when the school normally did not convene.
• Arenacross comes to fair — The Roosevelt County Fair had a new visitor, Arenacross, an event set for the Special Events Arena.
• County fair readied — Fairgoers looked at numerous exhibits and got set for the carnival at the Roosevelt County Fair.
• Governor unsure of Cannon’s fate — Gov. Bill Richardson spoke on the fate of Cannon Air Force Base as the Base Realignment and Closure commission prepared for its final hearing. Richardson said that Cannon, put on the closure list in May, had less than a 50-50 chance to survive.
• Pig chase held — The pig chase was held to the delight of Roosevelt County Fair attendees.
• DOD deviated from criteria — Supporters of Cannon Air Force Base were encouraged by early deliberations by the Base Realignment and Closure commission. The commission found that in many instances, the Department of Defense had seriously deviated from its criteria for closing or realigning bases.
• Cannon saved by enclave status — Cannon Air Force Base was saved — somewhat — as the base was voted into enclave status, meaning it would close at the end of 2009 unless a new mission was found.
• Segovia rushes for 201 yards — Junior Eric Segovia rushed for 201 yards and five touchdowns as the Rams throttled West Las Vegas 36-6 in its season opener.
• Livestock auction nets 138,000 — The Roosevelt County Fair’s junior livestock auction netted $138,000 for area youth, who sold their animals to area businesses and individuals.
• PHS third at Lady ’Cat Invitational — The Portales volleyball team finished in third place in the silver bracket of the Lady Wildcat Invitational in Clovis. Portales improved to 2-1 on the season with a four-game win against Los Lunas.
• ENMU officials optimistic at semester start — Eastern New Mexico University President Steven Gamble was optimistic after the first day of classes at the college. Gamble estimated an enrollment of 4,000 students.
• Craig re-elected to fair board — David Craig was re-elected to the Roosevelt County Fair Board, where he was joined by four others.
• Tucker receives belated medals — Tom “Mack” Tucker was given medals for his service in Vietnam.
• Lady Rams fight back at Roswell — Portales defeated 4A Roswell High after losing the first two games for a 21-25, 19-25, 28-26, 25-18, 16-14 win.