Clovis dentist no longer part of inquiry

The Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY — A New Mexico dentist serving life in prison for murder is no longer a “person of interest” in the unsolved killings of several prostitutes in the Lawton area. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown said James Smith, who once attended the University of Oklahoma, is no longer […]

Jones recalls times gone by

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer Elmer Jones jokes he can have a class reunion anytime he wants to because he’s the only one still living from his graduating class of 1931 at Portales High School. Quiet and unassuming, Jones recently celebrated his 95th birthday but the milestone isn’t slowing him down much. As a […]

Residents remember once bustling town

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By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer A century of history and memories came to life in Elida as residents gathered to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the community’s founding over the weekend. On Saturday, Elida School graduates, along with family and community members gathered in the high school gym to share memories, rekindle friendships and […]

Elida residents plan to showcase town’s history

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By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer One hundred years of history will be on display in several venues during the Elida Centennial on Friday and Saturday. Good’s Feed Store will be the site of an art show that will showcase work from artists that have lived in the area over the past 100 years, said […]

Elida fights hard, but loses in state semi’s

By Eric Butler, Freedom Correspondent Facing an early 3-0 deficit and a struggling starting pitcher, Elida coach Jimmy Ward did what many good baseball managers would do. In a Class 1A state semifinal, Thursday morning in Los Lunas, Ward inserted reliever Caleb Widner in hopes of holding down Mesilla Valley’s bats and giving his team […]

Authorities: Dentist ‘person of interest’ in Okla. killings

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A local dentist serving a life sentence for killing a Clovis woman is considered a “person of interest” in connection with four unsolved homicides in Oklahoma, according to a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigators. Jessica Brown said Saturday that agents are investigating whether James Smith is connected […]

McNaughton case slated for feature on Court TV

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers The case of a Clovis woman killed by a local dentist will be featured on a nationally televised crime show. In mid-April, family and friends of Laura McNaughton and local law enforcement participated in interviews and investigation reenactments and provided photos for the show “Body of Evidence: From the Case […]

Project provides senior citizens peace of mind

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By Karl Terry: Freedom Newspapers Richard and Louise Smith value their independence, however, health problems and a string of attempted break-ins have left them worried about their safety. Peace of mind arrived for the retired Portales couple Thursday via the Newman Project, a senior safety program instituted by District Attorney Matt Chandler’s office. “I hated […]

Daylight-saving golf

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PNT Staff Report Zach Smith from Dora takes advantage ot the extra daylight hours and brushes up on his golf swing at the Portales Country Club Tuesday evening.

Cliff Cowgirls rope Elida Lady Tigers

By Eric Butler; PNT correspondent RIO RANCHO — Based upon results in the quarterfinal round of the Class 1A girls basketball tournament, Elida’s followers might suspect that their Tigers would stand a pretty even chance with Cliff in the semifinals. But everything’s an inexact science in the state’s smallest classification, where teams from different corners […]

Dora edges Springer at state

By Eric Butler; PNT correspondent RIO RANCHO — After Dora’s thrilling 55-54 victory over Springer in a Class 1A quarterfinal game, Coyote Kyler Smith said he had heard of a famous NBA moment when Dennis Johnson stole a pass and fed Larry Bird for a winning bucket. Maybe Smith was just doing his best D.J. […]

Lady Tigers advance

PNT Staff Report ALBUQUERQUE — The toughest part of the Elida Lady Tigers (22-4) first-round match in the 1A state basketball tournament was apparently the bus ride back without a heater. The District 2 champion Tohajilee Lady Warriors (16-4) found themselves outmatched by District 4 runnerup Elida Friday in Albuquerque. Elida rode a 25-5 scoring […]

Parents who miss teacher conferences are not criminals

Editorial It had to happen. Now there’s a politician who wants to get the law-making process involved in the delicate business of teacher-parent relations. Rep. Wayne Smith, a Republican from Baytown, Texas, has filed a bill that would allow a $500 fine to be levied on parents who miss a meeting with their child’s teacher. […]

Graduates look toward future

By Casey Peacock: PNT staff writer Amid cheering friends and family, 250 graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas during commencement ceremonies at Eastern New Mexico University on Saturday. Sprinkling his commencement address with humor, KENW Director of Broadcasting, Duane Ryan, sent the graduates off with bits of wisdom and advice, as they […]

Smith prison bound

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Editor’s note: Content in this report may be offensive to some readers. Laura McNaughton’s family had strong words for the Clovis woman’s convicted killer during a sentencing hearing Tuesday at the Curry County Courthouse. Maria Beardmore, the victim’s mother, asked defense counsel to move so she could see James Smith […]

Dentist enters plea

By Sharna Johnston: Freedom Newspapers A Clovis dentist facing the death penalty in connection with the 2005 slaying of a Clovis mother has reached a plea agreement that will send him to prison for at least 57 years. In a barely audible voice from his seat at the defense table, James Smith answered “yes” as […]

Pursuit of death penalty OK’d

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Editor’s note: Content in this report may be offensive to some readers. A district judge ruled Monday probable cause exists to pursue the death penalty in the first-degree murder trial of a former Clovis dentist. Ninth Judicial District Judge Joe Parker made the ruling after the prosecution presented testimony Monday […]

District 3-1A names all-district

Freedom Newspapers ALL-DISTRICT 3-1A VOLLEYBALL First team Elida: Lindsey Ward, Sr.; Lindsey Smith, So.; Alicia Cross-Smith, Sr.; Janice Taylor, Jr. Fort Sumner: Bree’Anna Lucero, So.; Racheal Chavez, So.; Kaylynn Johnson, Sr. Melrose: Zanessa Dodd, Sr.; Toni Burdine, Jr. Floyd: Alexis Benoit, Jr.; Blair Jaramillo, Sr. Dora: Audra Pinkston, So. Honorable mention Elida: Nicole Jasso, So.; […]

New evidence found in death penalty case against area dentist

Freedom Newspapers New evidence was discovered Tuesday in the death penalty case against a Clovis dentist accused of killing a 30-year-old mother of two and leaving her body in a rural ditch, 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said. Members of the Curry County Major Crimes Unit found the evidence during a search at 316 […]

Caring companions

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By Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers Senior companions help their clients run errands. They alert doctors and relatives about health conditions. They act as caregivers when the need arises. Something else happens with senior companions — almost as an unwritten rule. They become friends. “I’ll (schedule some companions) from 8 a.m. to noon, but it doesn’t […]