Call center ups capacity

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By Jean Verlich: Freedom Newspapers Housed inside the 45,000-square-foot SEI call center is a replica of the computer system in a McDonald’s restaurant. It is capable of simulating an entire day’s operation for one of the fast-food restaurants. Although there is no food or cooking equipment, there is a fully functional cash register. The system […]

Officials work to educate public about TB

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer Sparked by the recent news of a DairiConcepts employee who contracted tuberculosis, health and public safety officials are working to educate and promote awareness of the disease in the community. Community Resources executive director Terry Teti, is working to put in place a plan that encourages employers to requires […]

Seminar hosts lectures in English, Spanish

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer The New Mexico Ag Expo is going bilingual. A three-hour dairy seminar presented in Spanish will focus on presenting information to dairy managers and workers as part of the first day of the 15th annual Expo Feb. 27-28 at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds. The seminar features three presentations that […]

City raises, incentive plan get approval

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By Helena Rodriguez: PNT Staff Writer Joe Ramirez and his employees at the city water department are often called out at all hours of the night to take care of emergency situations. Those circumstances sometimes make it hard to retain employees. Ramirez, the utility supervisor for the City of Portales, expects a new incentive pay […]

Congress should help small business have fewer fines

Editorial While the movers and shakers in Congress, always with an eye to November elections, are deciding higher-profile matters, a small but significant reform that deserves support is wending its way through the committee process in Congress. HR5242 would give small-business owners a chance — for the first time — to correct unintentional paperwork mistakes […]

New state employment laws shouldn’t be used to target Wal-Mart

Editorial A federal judge ruled last week that the state of Maryland can’t use health insurance laws to punish Wal-Mart. The state law in question would have required nongovernmental employers with 10,000 or more workers to spend at least 8 percent of payroll on health care or pay the difference in taxes, according to The […]

Call center plans to add 80 jobs

Jean Verlich: Freedom Newspapers SEI-CCS LLC plans to add up to 80 jobs by the end of the year to its Clovis bilingual customer care center, nearly tripling the number of employees, according to a company spokesperson. The company received $282,108 in state Job Training Incentive Awards to create 71 of the jobs, according to […]

Safety in Iraq is becoming a responsibility U.S. can’t handle

Editorial Was it only two weeks ago that the United States killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, the Iraqi government finally got all its ministers in place, and things seemed to be looking up? It is hardly a surprise that al-Qaida or other insurgents would unleash a wave of violence in […]

Ammonia release causes evacuation of local plant

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By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer The DairiConcepts plant west of Portales was evacuated Tuesday morning for about an hour, and two plant employees were treated at the Roosevelt General Hospital after an accidental release of ammonia, according to a company press release. The employees were sent to the hospital for undisclosed reasons and released […]

ENMU employees to get 5.5 percent raise

By William P. Thompson, PNT Staff Writer Eastern New Mexico University employees and faculty will earn at least 5.5 percent more for the 2006-2007 school year. The board of regents approved adding at least 1 percent to a state-funded 4.5 percent pay raise for ENMU faculty and made the 5.5 percent total raise effective for […]

Republicans seek investigation into ‘temporary’ hires

Staff and Wire Reports SANTA FE — Republican lawmakers have asked the state attorney general’s office to investigate the Richardson administration’s practice of hiring temporary exempt employees. A March 18 letter from Sen. Kent Cravens, R-Albuquerque, signed by two dozen other GOP lawmakers, said Gov. Bill Richardson’s practices have resulted in “numerous unauthorized hirings.” Lawmakers […]

House bill would stop treasurer from taking contractor contributions

By Barry Massey SANTA FE — The House approved a measure Thursday to prohibit the state treasurer from accepting campaign contributions from contractors who do business with the office. The measure is part of an anti-corruption package that Gov. Bill Richardson recommended to the Legislature in the wake of a kickback scandal involving two former […]

Bank’s transition to new name, ownership expected to be smooth

By Tony Parra Access Bank is now officially the First Community Bank and banking officials said customers will notice the transition, but they’re confident that customers will only experience minor inconveniences. Linda Wedeen, senior vice president of First Community Bank, said the Access Banks in Portales and Clovis officially became First Community Banks in January. […]

Ethics bills move through committees

By Deborah Baker: The Associated Press SANTA FE — A piece of Gov. Bill Richardson’s ethics package got unanimous committee endorsement Monday and headed to the full House for a vote. A Senate panel also approved a much broader measure, barring people who do business with the state from contributing to statewide officials — including […]

Merricks open Ashley Furniture store in Portales

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By Tony Parra June Merrick said one customer entered the Ashley Furniture store this week and said, “It was like she left Portales and entered the big city.” The furniture store has undergone a complete facelift and employees made the transition into the new store this week. Monday was the first day the locally-owned furniture […]

Call center opens in Clovis

Freedom Newspapers The SEI call center in the works since May opened Monday with eight technicians and two supervisors, according to company officials. Located in the former ClientLogic Building on Seventh Street, the technology-based Customer Care Service, or computer help desk, supports inbound customer requests related to technical issues with computer hardware and software. Susan […]

Local charities omitted from state brochure

Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers Eastern New Mexico charities are absent from a non-profit charity list created as a reference guide for state employee donations. The list includes more than 100 charities, however, almost half of all the charities listed are based in Albuquerque or central New Mexico. United Way of Eastern New Mexico Executive Director […]

Hospital bans tobacco

Marlena Hartz : Freedom Newspapers Plains Regional Medical Center will no longer permit tobacco use on its property in attempt to promote a culture of health, according to a hospital official. The smoking ban begins today. The hospital, part of the Presbyterian Health Care Services system, has disbanded its designated outdoor smoking areas, hospital officials […]

Flu vaccine plentiful despite epidemic scare

Tonya Garner: Freedom Newspapers The month of October brings pleasant changes in the form of shorter days and cooler weather. The beginning of fall, however, is also the onset of flu season. Chris Minnick of the New Mexico Department of Health said flu shot shortages were not expected to be a worry this year. “We’re […]

Southwest Cheese to get grant for new employees

Southwest Cheese will receive $294,665 from a state job-training initiative to train 73 new employees, said a state economic development department press release. The cheese company was previously awarded $718,456 for 79 employees by the Job Training Incentive Program in March 2005. The company has hired 88 employees to date, state officials said. Scheduled to […]