City Council will hold public meeting to discuss rate concerns

Joshua Lucero: Staff photo

The Portales City Council will be holding a town hall meeting tonight to address concerns about a proposed water-rate hike to pay for the city’s new $16.4 million wastewater treatment plant and reuse center.

By Joshua Lucero Staff writer More than four months after a proposed $30-per-month water bill increase, Portales city councilors will hold a town hall meeting tonight to gather public input and address concerns about the rate hike. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Memorial Building. City Councilor Matt Hunton said the meeting […]

Residents deal with snowy deluge

Derek Major: PNT photo
A front-end loader shovels a mound of snow on West Second Street in Portales Saturday morning.

By Derek Major Staff writer Overnight snowfall didn’t come as a surprise to many, but the amount that fell did. “I knew it was going to snow, but I didn’t think it would snow this much,” said Dan Jones, a student at Eastern New Mexico University. “I really don’t want to dig my car […]

Worst of weather should end over weekend

Staff photo: Steve Hansen
A lull in the deep freeze Friday allows Emaan (left), Yahya and Fatima Kazmi, all of Clovis, to feed bread crumbs to Canada geese flocking on the lake of Greene Acres Park in Clovis.

By Steve Hansen Just as the holiday weekend, or week for many, is ending, the weather is expected to begin a return to reasonable Sunday. For today, however, the area remains under threat from winter storms and bitter cold. A winter storm warning Friday morning was expected to stay in effect until 11 a.m. […]

Snow expected to impact travel

Forecasters predict up to 10 inches of snow overnight.

Staff reports A winter storm warning is in effect for Curry and Roosevelt counties until 11 a.m Saturday. Snow accumulations of 2 to 6 inches are expected, with up to 10 inches possible along the Texas state line, the National Weather Service is reporting. A mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain tonight will become […]

Portales couple welcomes first baby of year

Kevin Wilson: Staff photo
Ezra James Aguilar joined the family Thursday at Plains Regional Medical Center, along with parents Gregory and Rebecca Aguilar and older sister Olivia Aguilar. Ezra was the first baby born at PRMC for 2015.

By Kevin Wilson Staff writer As they took turns holding Ezra James, Gregory and Rebecca Aguilar briefly gave their bios. She’s a stay-at-home mom, and he’s in graduate school for school counseling. “I graduate May of next year,” Gregory said, before his wife laughed. “No, this year,” she said. “It’s 2015.” “That’s right,” he […]

Rescue gets new lease on life

Janine Fischer: Courtesy photo
In July, Cindy’s Hope for Precious Paws Animal Rescue took in a 
pug from Prince Street who was found with chemical burns on 
his body and burn injuries in his eyes. Today, “Clovis” is fully 
healed living in Parker, Colorado, with his adopted mom Janine 
Fischer. She describes him as “loving, curious, playful and 

Staff report Clovis, a young dog found last summer wandering Clovis streets with cruel chemical burn injuries, is alive and thriving in Colorado. In July, Clovis, a 2-year-old pug, was found wandering on Prince Street with chemical burns on his body and in his eyes. His new foster owner Janine Fischer of Parker, Colorado said […]

Habitat helper problem solver

Bill Brunson

Editor’s note: This is a third report in a five-part series recognizing people in the community who made a difference in 2014. By Joshua Lucero Staff photo When Habitat For Humanity director Joyce Davis accepted the help of former Eastern New Mexico University professor Bill Brunson, she got more than just an extra hand, […]

Full service gas station to close

Joshua Lucero: Staff photo
South Sea owner Doyle Onstott takes a moment Tuesday afternoon to look at the signatures and comments his customers left on the station’s walls. Doyle said he has been operating the station for more than 29 years.

By Joshua Lucero Staff writer After nearly 30 years of service, South Sea Full Service Station owner Doyle Onstott says it’s time to hang up the pump and retire. Onstott has been pumping gas, checking air pressure, cleaning windshields, and fixing flat tires since he started running the full service station for his uncle […]

Plenty to do to start new year

File photo
Curry County Home Economist Glenda Belcher talks about painting techniques at a do-it-yourself workshop at the 2014 New Mexico Ag Expo at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds. The expo features seminars, demonstrations, and food from agriculture vendors.

By Joshua Lucero Portales and Clovis are kicking off the new year with activities and events for all ages in January and February. Oasis State Park will be hosting a public hike as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative Jan. 1, according to the Oasis website. The hike is open to […]

Serving the masses

Derek Major: Staff photo
Wynella Shaw, front, helps serve food for the Christmas Day luncheon at El Rancho.

By Derek Major Staff writer Most restaurants were closed on Christmas Day, but cars lined up early Thursday morning at the El Rancho  to take part in restaurant’s annual Christmas  luncheon. “We’ve been doing this for 11 years now,” said Joey Garcia, whose family opened the restaurant in 1989. “Me and my wife had come […]

Surviving Buffalo Soldier still up for 3-hour talk

Tony Bullocks: Staff photo
Ira Pottard waves to the crowd during the Veterans Day Parade of  2013.

By Kitsana Dounglomchan Guest columnist Clovis’ Ira Pottard is one of the last living buffalo soldiers. He was 19 when he was drafted into the famed all-black cavalry unit in 1942. “You didn’t think much about being drafted,” he said. “You got a letter from the president saying, ‘Congratulations. You’re in the Army.’” I spoke […]

Happiness drive

Joshua Lucero: Staff photo
Joseph Torres, 3, left, and his brother Josiah Torres, 7, pose
with Santa Claus, played by PPD animal control officer
Adam Aguilar, while their mother Edana Torres takes their photo Saturday afternoon during the Santa Cop toy distribution. Children that attended received toys and got to sit with Santa as part of the event.

By Joshua Lucero Staff writer For Portales mother Edana Torres, the Portales Police Department’s annual Santa Cop toy distribution is a helpful and special event for her kids and the community. Torres’ two young boys, along with about 300 other children, received new toys from Portales police officers Saturday afternoon at the Yam Theater […]

Texico New Mexico Visitors Center closed longer than anticipated

Kevin Wilson: Staff photo
The New Mexico Visitors Center near Texico has been closed since September due to staffing issues.

By Kevin Wilson Staff writer Welcome to New Mexico. Keep on driving. That’s the message some travelers seem to have taken over the last four months, as the Texico New Mexico Visitors Center has been locked up and unstaffed since September. The building, about two miles west of the Texas-New Mexico border, is advertised […]

Santa’s Elks

Kevin Wilson: Staff photo
Fred Lybarger of Clovis staples a cotton “snow blanket” to a trailer Thursday in his driveway in Clovis. The trailer was set up as a sleigh to help deliver gifts to a needy family for Christmas.

By Kevin Wilson For one down-on-its-luck family in Portales, Santa Claus is coming to town. Santa’s sleigh, which is set for a Saturday night delivery, is lined with reindeer, pulled by a truck and powered by Elks. The Clovis-Portales Elks Lodge No. 1244, which has membership through the area of more than 400, is […]

Mills Canyon features rock cliffs, rugged landscapes

U.S. Forest Service photo
The walls of the Melvin Mills house still stand at the Mills Canyon Campground near Roy.

Mills Canyon, in Harding County, presents a startling but pleasant change from the sea of prairie grass above it. At its end, the road into Mills Canyon descends rapidly, shifting from level prairie grasses to ponderosa and pinyon pine and rock cliffs. The descent ends at the Canadian River. A look back reveals the river’s […]

Spreading Christmas cheer

Derek Major: Staff photo
Kindergarten students sing “Feliz Navidad” to customers and employees at Yucca Telecom in Portales Wednesday.

By Derek Major Staff writer Kindergarten students at Brown Elementary got a chance to bring a little Christmas cheer to several Portales businesses on Wednesday by singing Christmas carols. “We do this for a couple reasons,” said Brown Principal Rebecca Flen, who has been at the school for six years. “The community always gives […]

County settles lawsuit

Tony Bullocks: Staff photo
Abdoulaye Sarr of Portales recently settled a federal lawsuit against Roosevelt County and state police after being falsely accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

By Robin Fornoff Projects editor Roosevelt County officials have quietly settled a federal lawsuit for malicious prosecution and false imprisonment filed by a Portales man who claims he was arrested for no reason. Abdoulaye Sarr, 58, was a student at Eastern New Mexico University when arrested in Portales three years ago and accused of […]

End of a journey

Derek Major: Staff photo
Brittany Lee Garner receives her bachelor’s degree in the College of Education on Saturday at ENMU’s commencement ceremony.

By Derek Major Staff writer Jane Hammond had finally reached the end of her collegiate career after receiving her master’s degree in sports administration Saturday. She was ready to celebrate with her husband, Eastern New Mexico University Professor Bradford Hammond. “We have a bottle of wine at home, so we’ll have a couple glasses,” […]

Theft prevention

Joshua Lucero: Staff illustration
Local law enforcement agencies are urging residents to keep valuables and gifts out of sight while they perform their holiday shopping this Christmas season. Hiding valuables and locking doors help to limit the opportunities thieves have to steal from vehicles and homes.

By Joshua Lucero The holiday season is here and police are reminding area residents to be aware of holiday thieves. Portales Police Department Detective Charlie Smart said the December shopping season usually sees an increase in theft in the area. Smart said thefts often occur in vehicles that have valuable items visible through windows. […]

Construction on schedule

Joshua Lucero:
File photo
Williamson Restoration workers remove a large portion of the old ventilation system in December at the Roosevelt County Courthouse.

By Joshua Lucero Staff writer Construction at the Roosevelt County Courthouse is running smoothly and on schedule, according to County Manager Amber Hamilton. The overhaul of the building’s heating and cooling system began in August with the removal of eight types of mold found by a private lab consultant, including a toxic strain of […]