Stevens: Put your sleuthing skills to the test

So you’ve watched 1,000 TV crime shows and you’re pretty sure you’d make a good police detective. OK. See what you make of this case: Dennis Huggins and Art Ferro were in the same place at the same time, around 2 a.m. Tuesday. That’s about all they agree on. Here’s what Huggins had to say, […]

Firing guards for escape is scapegoating

So the Corrections Department may can the two officers who were on duty 14 1/2 hours straight when two violent inmates escaped from a transport van on March 9 — it would have been closer to 20 hours when they reached their destination. Officers Taracina Morgan and Michael Ortega are on paid administrative leave and […]

McDonald: P is for press, municipal newbies

Last month, after municipal elections were held around the state, a bunch of fresh faces took their oaths of office and became city and town councilors, trustees and mayors for their first time. To help prepare them for their job, the New Mexico Municipal League, in its March newsletter, set out to educate them. Randy […]

Hansen: Past campaigns have been worse

This year’s presidential campaigns have been called the dirtiest in history. Well, if you don’t count the Richard Nixon campaign in 1972, the Lyndon Johnson campaign of 1964, or numerous campaigns in the 19th Century, this year’s gloves-off slugfest is probably pretty bad. Nixon’s “dirty tricks” squad, spawned by the eerily named CREEP (Committee to […]

Nabbing bad lease-holders vital to state

All it takes are a few bad actors to ruin the show. An apparent one, Siana Operating of Midland, Texas, which provides oilfield well-water disposal services, has drawn the attention of State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn for spills and environmental damage at an injection well site southwest of Eunice. That, in part, has caused Dunn […]

Sloan: Volunteering a good experience

Inspired by Portales resident Elliott Stollar’s three-plus years of volunteering, I have been spending time on Sundays visiting and playing games with the residents of Heartland Continuing Care Center in Portales. My most notable contribution has been adding Scrabble to their dominoes and Skip-Bo card game. When I began a couple of months ago, I […]

Wilson: Movie-going solo perfectly OK

No doubt, the list is much longer. But there are two qualities I’ve inherited from my dad. First, I’m the worst person to shop for because I buy what I can afford and convince myself I don’t need what I can’t afford. The family learned to buy gift cards a long time ago. Second, I […]

Graduates who earn recognition should get honor

“When everyone’s super, no one will be.” — The Incredibles That line from Pixar’s animated movie about a villain who plans to sell his inventions so superheroes are obsolete is a reflection on society, where all too often everyone gets a ribbon and average is celebrated. It’s a mentality that hasn’t been present in Rio […]

McDonald: We should be safe this side of line

There aren’t a lot of people living in the southwestern corner of the state that borders Arizona and Mexico, known as New Mexico’s Bootheel. But that didn’t stop hundreds of area residents from finding their way to Animas earlier this month for a meeting about border security. Area newspapers reported that more than 600 people […]

Time to repair Supreme Court vacancy process

It is sad but true that the appointment of justices to the U.S. Supreme Court has become little more than an exercise in partisan politics in a bitterly divided nation. The reality is that justices are appointed not for their legal expertise and fair-minded approach to the law, but in hopes they will execute a […]

McDonald: Diverse economy best for oil towns

If you’ve never driven through the oil patch of southeastern New Mexico, I recommend you do so. It’s not what your average tourist would call a scenic drive, but it will leave you impressed nevertheless. In Lea and Eddy counties in particular, you can see miles and miles of pump jacks decorating the scrub lands. […]

Public deserves answers about escape details

New Mexicans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that prison escapees Lionel Clah, 29, and Joseph Cruz, 32, are back in custody after leading law enforcement on a multi-day hunt. Cruz is serving a life sentence for beating a man to death, and Clah got 30 years on various charges in connection with the […]

Sloan: Living in state of disenchantment

Last week, I made my first visit to Ruidoso since 2004. The scenery had not changed, but I had. The forested mountains were as high, the cabins as secluded, and the shops dotting the undulating streets as charmingly eclectic. But the enchantment had dimmed. While strolling among families and spring breakers, I wondered how many […]

Wilson: Senate not ‘letting voters decide’

Author Upton Sinclair once noted, “It is difficult to make a man understand something, when his salary depends on him not understanding it.” And that’s where we are, four weeks after the sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. During a Republican presidential debate later that night, candidates argued President Obama should ignore his […]

Right to demand accountability for mine spill

T he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it was all an accident when its team breached the Gold King Mine and spilled 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater into the Animas River. It says the water quality returned to normal just weeks after wastewater laden with more than 880,000 pounds of metals hit the river […]

McDonald: Capital expenditure needs reform

March 9 was a deadline for Gov. Susana Martinez. That was her last day to either sign into law measures passed in the recently adjourned legislative session or kill them off with a veto. According to, 101 bills were passed during the session that ended a month ago. Among the meatier measures to make […]

Sloan: I’d be cheap alternative to Trump

Although I’d rather spend election season on the sidelines (where I spent most of my high school career), if Republicans can’t find anyone to out-trump Trump, for a few pesos I am willing to throw my sombrero in the ring. Here are my ideas to woo away Trump’s storm-troopers. • After tearing up the Iranian […]

Williams: Sunshine should be high priority

Closed-door budget talks and a failed effort to create a transparent ethics commission largely shaded the recent New Mexico legislative session from sunlight, but 2016 did see two incremental victories for transparency. Sunshine Week is today through Saturday. The Sunshine Week campaign works nationwide to celebrate transparency and emphasize the value of open government. Here […]

FDA responsible for stopping drug monopolies

The common practice has been that after a pharmaceutical drug’s patent has expired, its cost would go down as generic versions became available. But that no longer seems to be the routine. For instance, The Associated Press reports that research published in the medical journal, JAMA Dermatology, found that the prices customers paid for brand […]

McDonald: Trump-Sanders ticket revolutionary

Last week, on the night of Super Tuesday, one of my brothers who lives in Memphis, Tennessee called me up to talk about the presidential primaries. The conversation turned lively in a hurry as we went from politics to talk of the “revolutions” now underway in our nation. Let me begin by telling you about […]