Austin became president of the board after the 2017 elections.
Drug kingpin sentenced to 12 years in prison; Mendiola was at center of Taco Bell fatal shootout two years ago
A Roswell man authorities described as the leader of a drug trafficking organization was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Las Cruces to 144 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his conviction on cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking charges.
Joseph Ray Mendiola, 36, was also ordered to forfeit 14 firearms and ammunition.
Mendiola is one of 41 individuals charged in September 2015 with drug trafficking offenses as a result of an eight-month multi-agency investigation by the FBI, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force, the Roswell Police Department, the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office and the New Mexico State Police. Twenty-one of the defendants were charged with federal offenses and the remaining 20 with state crimes.
The investigation initially targeted a drug trafficking organization led by Mendiola, who allegedly distributed methamphetamine in Chaves County.
It later expanded to include drug traffickers who allegedly supplied methamphetamine to the Mendiola organization and other drug traffickers operating in Chaves County.
The arrests of the 41 people, 35 of them Roswell residents, began on July 31, 2015, with a police shootout at Taco Bell at 3007 N. Main St., where Mendiola was allegedly conducting a drug transaction.
The shootout resulted in the death of 34-year-old Jeremy L. Hatch and the injury of Roswell police officer Barton Devos.
On Oct. 18, 2016, Mendiola pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess methamphetamine and cocaine with intent to distribute, and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. In entering the guilty plea, Mendiola admitted conspiring with his co-defendants to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine in Chaves County from June 2015 through July 31, 2015.
Mendiola also admitted that on July 25, 2015, and July 31, 2015, he and a co-defendant arranged to purchase 2 pounds of methamphetamine with the intention of distributing it to others.
Mendiola’s prior criminal history includes two prior methamphetamine trafficking convictions and a conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Mendiola was prosecuted as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution.
Under this initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s district attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders primarily based on their prior criminal convictions for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.
The investigation was designed as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces program, which combines the resources and unique expertise of federal agencies, along with their local counterparts, in a coordinated effort to disrupt and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations.
Mendiola and 15 other federal defendants were charged in a 24-count indictment filed on Sept. 22, 2015.
Count 1 of the Indictment charged 15 of the 16 defendants with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine between June and July of 2015. Count 2 charged three defendants with conspiracy to distribute cocaine in July 2015. Counts 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 charged certain defendants with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in July 2015. Counts 8 through 24 charged certain defendants with using communications devices (telephones) to facilitate drug trafficking crimes. All crimes charged in the federal indictment allegedly occurred in Chaves County.
During the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers executed 14 federal search warrants for 10 residences in Roswell, one residence in Dexter and three vehicles. During the execution of those search warrants, the officers seized approximately 5,600 grams of methamphetamine, $35,960 in cash and multiple firearms, including two assault rifles.
To date, 13 of Mendiola’s co-defendants have entered guilty pleas and two have been sentenced. Three co-defendants have yet to be arrested and are considered fugitives. Charges in indictments and criminal complaints are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The federal cases were investigated by the Roswell office of the FBI’s Albuquerque division, the Las Cruces office of the DEA, the Roswell Police Department, the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, the Chaves County Metro Narcotics Task Force, the New Mexico State Police and the U.S. Marshals Service.
Blackhawk helicopter rides provide civilians with fun, new perspective
Riding through the city of Roswell in a helicopter isn’t exactly an everyday activity for typical residents, but if one is part of the area’s National Guard or Army Reserve, one’s day-to-day life is likely anything but typical.
Roswell’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program gave that opportunity Thursday morning as a means to give back to employers for allowing employees in the National Guard and Reserve to perform their promised duties. A “Bosslift” luncheon was also held to honor local employers.
“The ESGR is the employee support for the Guard and Reserve,” Chris Garcia, commander of the 515th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, said. “They kind of thank the employers for lending their employees to us. We take them away one weekend a month and two weeks a year, and also, if they’re deployed overseas, they kind of support — they kind of help.”
A year before the U.S. military draft ended in 1973, the Department of Defense established the ESGR. Their mission works to continually promote cooperation and an understanding between Reserve Component Service members and employers.
Gary Smith, Roswell’s area chair for the ESGR, has spent more than 35 years of military service in his lifetime. He said 27 of those years were at the Ohio National Guard.
“I got activated during the Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm — that was in ’91,” Smith said. “That’s ancient history to a lot of people, but I logged a lot of years, both active and reserve. I still volunteer in this respect because a lot of success I had, I owe to the military.”
Garcia, who started as an E-1, has been in the National Guard for 32 years. With his household serving a total of 65 years with the military, he said serving for the Guard is in his blood, and when they receive a call — whether local or far away — they answer.
“We support our federal and state mission,” Garcia said. “If there’s a state emergency, the governor calls on the Guard to go out. They go through local law enforcement, local firefighters, everything that they need to go, and if they get beyond their means, then they call in the Guard.”
Smith said while the Thursday program offered employers and civilians the opportunity to ride in a Humvee and a Blackhawk helicopter might bring joy, it also provided the chance for them to see what the National Guard and Reserve may experience.
“I just think that — not everybody gets a chance to fly on a helicopter. It’s unique.”
Garcia added that the helicopter ride places civilians in the perspective of what their life can be like.
“It’s intended to give them a little taste of being in the soldiers’ boots,” Garcia said. “Going into a bad area or going to a natural disaster or whatever, fly a helicopter. Once we land — we go out the door — and we go do what we need to do. If they see it from that perspective, yes, they should get a little taste of it.”
According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2016 index of U.S. military strength, the Reserve and National Guard make up roughly 38 percent of total U.S. uniformed manpower.
Smith said it’s worth appreciating just how much U.S. military support resides within the National Guard and Reserve.
“Our active forces have been drawn down significantly,” he said. “If we did not have the Guard and Reserve, I would be very fearful for our nation’s defense.
“These guys and ladies, they are fully-trained. They are every bit as well-qualified as their counterparts on active duty, and they’re ready to step up if the need happens. Without them, I would feel very un-secure, and that’s how much they mean to us.”
Smith said the experience and qualities that that Reservists and Guardsman bring to employers are exactly what one would expect.
“The fire department, police department, the sheriff’s department — they’re looking for that,” Smith said. “Our guys fit the bill. I don’t know of any employer that’s had a Guardsman that’s not happy to have them.
“They’ve told me many times that they will take in all that we bring to them for employment consideration, because they come to the employer (in) a lot of cases, already qualified, they’re drug-free, they know how to take orders.
“We are just very, very proud of our area employers — they have stepped up to the plate, and a lot of them look first to the Guard and Reserve when they’re going to hire new employees.”
Garcia said, as an employer, getting that little “thank you” means a lot.
“People have good days, bad days, and so forth,” he said. “It’s nice to finally get a pat on the back once in a while. As a manager, they have a lot stress. As a business owner, it’s a lot of stress, and to get that little ‘pay it forward’ type thing — it goes a long way, and it means a lot — and I truly believe that.”
The Patriot Award was given of Robbie Carabajal of AerSale, Anthony McCune of Chenega Security, Joe Portio of Dexter Police Department, Chad Smith of ENMU-Roswell, Stephen Cowart of Leprino Foods, Chris Lara of New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe, Ruben Bolaños of RISD and Chief Phillip Smith and Mike Taylor of the Roswell Police Department.
Recipients of the New Mexico Patriotic Employer Award included the Roswell Job Corps, Leprino Foods, the New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe Academy, the Roswell Police Department and Wal-Mart.
The Seven Seals Award was given to Harvey Twite of New Mexico Radio, and Spirit of Volunteerism Award was given to Major Randall Bates.
Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at email@example.com.
Authorities have identified the man who allegedly opened fire at a Chaves County sheriff’s deputy Wednesday night along U.S. Route 380.
Chadwick Taylor, 40, of Conchas Dam, was located and taken into custody around 8 p.m. Wednesday night, according to a news release issued Thursday morning from New Mexico State Police.
Taylor was transported to the Chaves County Detention Center in Roswell, where he was booked and charged with one count of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting/evading a police officer.
On Wednesday around 6:33 p.m., New Mexico State Police were informed of a shooting involving Chaves County Sheriff’s Office deputies on U.S. Route 380 near milepost 195.
Police said Taylor fired several shots from a handgun at the sheriff’s deputy, who returned fire.
After the exchange of gunfire, police said the suspect fled into neighboring sand dunes off U.S. Route 380. Taylor was found east of the shooting location a few hours later and arrested.
According to the news release, there were no injuries sustained by anyone involved in the incident.
State police said the name of the deputy involved in the shooting will not be released until interviews are completed and that the case is still under investigation.
Sasha Tiernan’s family didn’t think she would ever go to college, much less complete a program.
Tiernan, 24, of Albuquerque, said her family thought that the best she could do with her diagnosed condition of cerebral palsy was to live in a group home and work at a menial job.
Instead, Tiernan has been living in a college apartment and has earned three certificates of training in animal care, child care and office skills. She also has worked at the Spring River Park and Zoo in Roswell and plans to start an associate’s degree program in the fall.
“I am going to become an educational associate,” she said, “and when I am an educational associate, I can work on my bachelor’s.”
Tiernan is one of 44 graduates this year of the Special Services Occupational Training Program at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell. More than 1,200 students have completed the program since its inception in 1986.
A Thursday afternoon graduation ceremony drew more than a hundred family members and friends to the Performing Arts Center at the ENMU-R campus to see their loved ones cross the stage and to hear about the lessons learned by a parent, two student speakers and special needs advocate Sam White.
White is also a Texas A & M University information technology director, a former New Mexico Military Institute student, and the parent of a special needs teen planning to attend ENMU-R in the future.
“Whether you want to be or not, by completing these certificates, you are leaders in the disability community,” White told the graduating students. “You are models for employers and role-models for other employees. Every unique person in this country needs to know of your success and that there are places and programs to help enable that success for you and others.”
The ENMU-R program, described by Director Leah Lucier and parent and former educator Yvette Werner as unique in the state, helps people diagnosed with disabilities gain both vocational skills and independent living skills.
“Most programs offer only one or the other,” Lucier said, who added that she has conducted research about such programs across the nation. “We are one of the few that offers both.”
White described what he called the five unique elements of the ENMU-R program: In-class vocational training, practicum experiences at employer sites in the community, life skills training, independent skills training and on-campus living.
“You can’t get that any place else but here,” he said.
To be eligible for the program, people must be 18 or older and diagnosed with a disability. The conditions in the student population are varied, from vision impairment to autism to cerebral palsy to Down syndrome to Attention Deficit Disorder, Lucier said.
Students enrolled in the 50-credit hour program can earn occupational training certificates in such employment areas as child care, veterinary care, office skills, stocking and merchandising, and food service. The job placement rate for those who complete the program is 79 percent, Lucier said.
Many, such as Tiernan, earn more than one certificate. This year’s group of 44 graduates includes 18 who received their second, third or fourth certificates. The employment rate for those with two or more certificates is 88 percent, according to Lucier.
Local employers participating in the practicum job training include veterinary clinics, day care centers, hotels, public and private schools, retail store chains and nonprofit organizations, as well as different departments at ENMU-R.
“They do that because they want to help our community and help these individuals,” Lucier said, explaining that employers do not receive any special benefits for taking on students.
The vast majority of students also live on campus in dormitories or apartments and receive part of their independent living skills instruction in those settings.
Werner gave her heartfelt thanks to ENMU-R for providing her son Jared an opportunity of a college education she thought he would never have.
She recalled that when Jared’s older brother was deciding among colleges that Jared said he also was looking forward to college. Werner said she remembers having to tell him that he might never have that chance and then “cried her eyes out” later that day. Then she learned about the ENMU-R program.
“Please accept our gratitude for all you do to provide a safe place for our students to follow their dreams,” she said to the faculty and staff of the university.
Student speakers Holly Wampler, 26, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Miranda Scheidt, 24, of South Lake, Texas, also thanked teachers and peers. They said the program had given them not only vocational skills but the recognition that they are capable of more than they thought.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roswell Daily Record publisher Barbara Beck and general manager SaraLei Fajardo have announced that Jeff Tucker has been named the new editor of the newspaper.
As editor, Tucker will be responsible for day-to-day management of the editorial department and the 126-year-old newspaper’s print and online content.
“I’m very pleased that Jeff has accepted the editor position,” Beck said. “Jeff has a lot of experience at community newspapers and leading newsrooms.”
Tucker joined the Roswell Daily Record in May 2014 as a general assignment reporter, principally covering local government, politics, crime and courts. He has since been the newspaper’s senior writer, night editor, managing editor and interim editor.
“He knows the community well and has built a lot of relationships in his time here in Roswell,” Fajardo said.
As interim editor, Tucker spearheaded several readership outreach efforts, such as regular pages for Spanish-language readers and a page devoted to Artesia. Tucker said he plans to continue covering local news and sports as much as possible while also managing the newsroom.
“Some people get bored sitting through governmental meetings, but I’ve always found the esoteric inner-workings of government fascinating,” Tucker said. “That’s how I cut my teeth in journalism, covering the meetings no one else was interested in staffing, looking for nuggets of news and interesting storylines for readers.”
After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps as an air radio repairman in California, Tucker graduated from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, in December 1993, where he majored in communications, with an area of course concentration in political science. While in college, Tucker said his interest in public affairs grew into a congressional internship in Washington D.C. and a legislative internship for the Indiana House of Representatives. He ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for a seat in the Indiana House of Representatives in 1998.
“I thought I knew everything about politics, until I actually ran for something,” he said. “A U.S. Senate aide asked me shortly after my makeshift campaign if I would ever run again, and I told him, ‘Nah, I like the idea of running once and complaining about the process the rest of my life.'”
Tucker began his professional journalism career in 1997, freelance writing for his hometown newspaper in Michigan City, Indiana, after playing semi-pro baseball for seven years in the Chicago area. A product of public schools in his hometown which Tucker said prepared and educated him well, Tucker got his start in journalism covering sports for his high school newspaper. A member of the Roswell Tennis Association, Tucker said covering sports is a nice change of pace.
“It’s a whole different crowd and readership than a typical City Council meeting,” he said. “It keeps you versatile in your writing, and confident you can tackle any story.”
Tucker, 51, has been a full-time journalist at nine newspapers in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, Montana and New Mexico, with extensive freelance work for several newspapers, including the Post-Tribune in Merrillville, Indiana, and the South Bend Tribune in South Bend, Indiana. He was also a six-month temporary newsman for The Associated Press in the Indianapolis bureau in 2000, writing print and broadcast news and sports stories, and a freelance correspondent for the AP in Montana in 2011-12.
Throughout his career, Tucker has received more than 20 individual journalism awards from the New Mexico, Montana, South Texas, West Texas, Texas and Hoosier press associations and The Associated Press. He was editor of the Record Star in Robstown, Texas, and the Herald-News in Wolf Point, Montana.
Tucker said he’s glad to be a part of Roswell’s family owned newspaper and he’s had enough of moving about the country.
“I’ve found that corporate-owned newspapers lack the long-term connections with their communities that family owned newspapers have,” he said. “And employees at family owned newspapers really do form into an extended family, which makes this job all the more rewarding.”
The New Mexico Environment Department will hold a public outreach meeting in Roswell on Aug. 17 to discuss a Volkswagen settlement.
The Aug. 17 meeting will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Roswell Public Library, 301 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
The meeting will also provide more information on the settlement, as well as and ask for public input to determine how the funds from the settlement will be distributed across future projects.
New Mexico is slated to receive about $18 million dollars in settlement funds following resolution of a Volkswagen smog device emissions scandal, which involved software in more than 500,000 vehicles’ electronics that allowed Volkswagen’s cars to emit up to 40 times the legally allowed amount of nitrogen oxide while appearing in tests to be within the limit.
Most people think of the South before the Civil War when they hear the word “slave.”
Educated people may think about today’s African nations with their abducted child-soldiers who, as young as 6, are pressed into fighting. Or, the group Boko Haram, which abducted 275 female students — children — to give as a reward to its fighters three years ago. Two hundred of those girls are still missing today.
Modern slavery has a different name in the U.S.: Human trafficking. And, according to the U.S. government’s 2016 report, human trafficking is on the rise.
New Mexico is one of the most prominent gateways for these criminals who either abduct children, women and men, or lure them with promises of a new life to the land where milk and honey flows — the U.S. Once they have them in their grip, they hand them over to other criminal organizations stateside. Once here, they vanish, being sold into prostitution, used for free labor or to private “owners.” Very few escape their terrible fate.
Recent stories tell the barbaric way in which these modern slavers work. The reports coming in of people who died of heat and thirst in the back of a truck in San Antonio, Texas, arrests of underage human trafficking criminals in Albuquerque and, earlier this year, the arrest of an individual in Clovis who tried to buy a 10-year-old girl shows the brutality of the traffickers and their clients.
New Mexico is one of the battlegrounds for local and federal law enforcement to catch the criminals who prey on the most vulnerable.
While there are many organizations who help the victims, there are very few that try to prevent the most innocent, the children, from falling into the hands of modern slavers in their home countries.
An organization that seeks to help prevent children from being abducted into human trafficking is Cause Vision out of New York City. Local artist Tiffany Pascal is one of its members. She is one of the core artists of the organization to help children understand the dangers they might find themselves in and how to prevent it.
This fall, Cause Vision will launch another anti-human trafficking educational comic created by Pascal, “El Paseo Pantera,” aimed at Guatemalan children. The initiative is in collaboration with the organizations Miracles In Action, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking Guatemala.
It is Pascal’s third comic for the organization. Previous comics of hers were distributed in Colombia and Cambodia. All comics are translated into the native language of the country where they are distributed.
The reason Cause Vision chose comics as a tool is the immediate accessibility; even illiterate children can understand its message.
“The majority of human trafficking victims are preteen and teen girls,” Pascal said. “It is a crime that disproportionately affects women and girls, but men are affected, too. In fact, they (Cause Vision) are finding that more and more men are being trafficked. Usually for forced labor, which often involves sex slavery, too, in some cases, like sexual abuse from people who are overseeing them.
“A lot of people are calling it modern slavery because that is exactly what it is. It includes a lot of other crime that people are not always aware of,” Pascal said.
According to Cause Vision, the U.S. is the No. 2 destination (within developed countries) for human trafficking. Russia is No. 1 as the transit and destination country between Europe and Asia.
“There is a lot about the brothel culture versus personal slaves, if you can call it that,” Pascal said. “There is a lot of debate (on federal and state level) about whether or not legalizing prostitution would decrease incidences of human trafficking. Nobody really has a good answer to that. I think decriminalizing prostitution is a first step. Only for the victim, the prostitutes, not the buyer. Putting prostitutes in jail doesn’t help, putting buyers in jail does. That’s not happening.”
Executive director of the Roswell Refuge, Cindy Wilson, is concerned about the rise in human trafficking in New Mexico. Her organization is prepared to help.
“We have not had a confirmed case yet,” Wilson said. “However, we have heard from law enforcement that we (Roswell) are a corridor.
“We are bilingual, so there is no language barrier,” she said. “Plus, we have access to international interpreters with just a phone call. We are here for everyone, regardless of the circumstances.
“We need to continue to get the word out that, if they come to us (the Roswell Refuge or any other refuge) and the person is a victim of domestic violence, they are protected by the U.S. law,” Wilson said. “Their rights are protected. In other words, they will not be sent back. There is a process, but it’s not that the criminals can threaten the victim to send them back. It doesn’t happen. The victim will have his or her chance to present their case. It is protected by the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.” (Enacted in October 2004, the Crime Victims’ Rights Act is part of the Justice for All Act).
“We keep informing the public, but the message doesn’t get across,” Wilson said. “We had people, in my four years at the Roswell Refuge, who came here and said, ‘I don’t want to get sent back.’ We sit down with them and show them that they do not get in trouble. The law will protect them, too.
“I worry that many times those people who are trafficking may be using that form of blackmail in order to have power over the victim. I heard that from law enforcement on a federal level. While we haven’t seen any verified cases to my knowledge, it can happen,” Wilson said. She is concerned that human traffickers are going through Roswell without her knowledge.
“I heard a woman speak about this two years ago at the Victims Advocacy in Action conference (hosted by the New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission). Her tale was heartrending, how they (the traffickers) were threatening her, threatening her child. She was a slave. She got out of it, finally. I sat there in tears. I could not believe her story, so heartbreaking to hear it firsthand,” Wilson said. “This is happening, we know it. We have to talk about it. We are this close to the border.”
There are tools to identify victims of human trafficking available at humantraffickinghotline.org for law enforcement agencies and their personnel as well as for civilians and health care providers who may come in contact with victims of human trafficking. Victims might also seek services such as legal aid or may contact social services without saying that they are victims of human trafficking.
The signs that victims of human trafficking present are very similar to a victim of domestic abuse. Victims are often made dependent of drugs and their families are threatened. Some may develop a psychological phenomenon called Stockholm Syndrome, which develops out of a hostage’s desperation to survive. The victim may identify and bond with his or her captor.
For more information about the Roswell Refuge, visit roswellrefuge.org or call its crisis line at 575-627-8361 or its office at 575-624-3222.
For more information about Pascal and her art, visit tiffany-pascal.com or causevision.org.
Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at email@example.com.
Idella Norine Sparks (Hebert) Davis, 85, passed away July 19, 2017, at home in Roswell, New Mexico. A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2017, at 11 a.m., at Calvary Baptist Church, 1009 W. Alameda, Roswell, New Mexico. Pastors Andy Byers and Joe Sparks will officiate. A tribute of Idella’s life may be found at andersonbethany.com where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for her family.
Idella was born September 17, 1931, in Ima, New Mexico, to Richard Franklin Sparks and Amelia Idella Bragg Sparks. Idella spent most of her youth growing up in Roswell, New Mexico. She enjoyed working for her family at “The Barrel” where she fondly remembered serving the community delicious root beer, hamburgers, and ice cream. Idella graduated from Roswell High School in 1950. She married Edward A. Hebert in 1951, and together they had five children. Idella was baptized when she was nine years old in Deming, New Mexico.
She was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school and volunteered often. She enjoyed Tuesday game days and dearly loved spending time with her church family. Idella married Curtis Eugene (Jack) Davis in 1972. Jack passed away in 1975. Idella worked for the telephone company for thirty-two years and made lifetime friends before she retired in 1983.
In her retirement, Idella was involved with the Jingle Bob Chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America. Her favorite pastime was playing Skip-Bo and other games with family and friends. Idella also loved rooting for and encouraging her children and grandchildren at their sporting events. She was well known as a kind, loving, and spiritual woman with a keen sense of humor.
She always felt blessed to have been the oldest and youngest in two families, the Sparks and the Meadows. She always considered her nieces and nephews in the Meadows family as brothers and sisters.
Idella is survived by her sons: Thomas Hebert (Betty), Peter Hebert, Paul Hebert (Melodie); daughters: Trudy Hebert, Lisa Woods (Ken); grandchildren: Serenity Gomez (Jason) Christy Soto, Ryan Hebert, Theresa Montoya, Destiny Herron (Joseph), Daniel Soto, Brandon Hebert (Kristin) Logan Hebert, Marissa Soto, Nicole Bridges (Justin); fourteen great-grandchildren; “brothers”: John Meadows (Jan), Bruce Meadows (Gloria); “sisters”: Betty Hudson, Ruth McKinney (Jim), Clora Anderson (Bobby), Marie Penewit (Gary); and all the many very special nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, stepchildren and friends that she dearly loved.
Idella is preceded in death in the Sparks family by her parents: Richard Franklin Sparks and Amelia Idella Bragg Sparks; brothers: Elvin Sparks (Rachel), Rexel Sparks (Hilda), Avrit (Sandy) Sparks, True Sparks, Orval Sparks, Lee Otis Sparks (Carole); sisters: Ruby Patton, Elizabeth (Betty), Galloway (Bill); Meadows family: Clora Sparks Meadows “Momma,” Archy Meadows “Daddy,” “sister,” Martha Ellen Meadows; “brother,” Archy Meadows (Jan); brother-in-law, Don Hudson; and daughter-In-law, Debra Hebert.
A celebration of her life will be Saturday, July 29, 2017, at 11 a.m., at Calvary Baptist Church, 1009 W Alameda, Roswell, New Mexico. Officiating will be Pastor Andy Byers and Pastor Joe Sparks.
Memorial contributions may be made in Idella’s memory to Calvary Baptist Church at www.CBCRoswell.com or the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org.
This tribute was lovingly written in honor of Idella by her family.
Lorilei Briseño Perlingos, age 48, went home to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on June 20, 2017. Her loving and devoted family never left her side throughout the course of her passing.
Lorilei was born on June 15, 1969, in Roswell, New Mexico to Sal and Viola Briseño. She grew up in Roswell and graduated from Roswell High School in 1987.
Lorilei was a longtime employee of United Airlines. She was a flight attendant and traveled all around the world. She often shared stories about her interesting encounters and adventures in flying. During her last years with United, she traveled to her favorite destinations in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea, and various destinations in Europe. She always expressed the need to “hurry and catch a flight.” She is now soaring through Heaven and flying high with the angels.
Lorilei faced Multiple Sclerosis with the same gusto and vigor that she lived her life. She faced MS head-on and refused and did not allow it to take away her life. She maintained a positive and hopeful outlook with regards to finding a cure for the disease and participated in various MS events.
Lorilei never stopped having a passion and appreciation for life which was evident in how she lived and loved her family. Her greatest joy was that of being a mother and a grandmother. Her life was never the same when she was blessed with her son, Caleb. The love of a child and being a mother completed her. She loved Caleb immeasurably. Lorilei was also a doting and devoted grandmother to her three grandchildren. Cassius, Camden, and Cieden were the apples of their grandmother’s eyes. Her son and grandsons provided her with the strength, courage, and motivation to continue her fight against MS.
Lorilei’s beauty radiated through her smile and her magnificent spirit filled any room she entered. Her laughter was contagious. She was a very giving woman who has left a legacy of love for all that had the honor of sharing in her life. We give thanks for the life of this amazing woman and are honored to call her a devoted wife, a beloved mother and grandmother, daughter, and sister. The unique, complex, extraordinary and irreplaceable Lorilei, whose grace and beauty inspired us all, will never be extinguished from our hearts and minds.
Lorilei was preceded in death by her father Sal Briseño Sr., sister, Katie Hamilton, grandparents, Matias and Benedicta Briseño, and grandmother, Dora Daley. She is survived by her mother Viola Briseño; husband David Perlingos; son Caleb Perlingos (Siria); beautiful grandsons Cassius, Camden, Cieden; brother Mike Briseño; brother Sal Briseño Jr. (Laura); sister Melanie Florez (Jonathan); and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A celebration of Lorilei’s life will be held at Church on the Move in Roswell, NM, on Saturday, July 29, 2017, at 10 a.m. A reception will be held immediately following the services for Lorilei.
Services are pending for Dennis Wayne Langford, age 77, of Roswell, who passed away Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
A further announcement will be made once arrangements have been finalized.
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at lagronefuneralchapels.com.
Last week a group of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents conducted raids in Clovis. Neza Leal-Sanchez of Somos Un Pueblo Unido explained that communities of immigrants all over the state are concerned that the next one might be in their area.
“ICE recently opened a new office here in Roswell,” Leal-Sanchez said. “They’ve been using it as a base to terrorize immigrant families and communities throughout the southeast this week. They conducted several deportation raids in Clovis. They were roaming the streets. They were knocking on people’s doors. They were terrorizing and separating families.
“That is why the communities throughout the southeast are coming together (July 21) here in Roswell to protest in front of the office to let them know that our community is not going to stand for this terrorization of our families.”
He said they have another purpose that is equally important.
“We are here to inform our community what their rights are,” he said, “should those ICE agents come into their communities.”
Leal-Sanchez works for a group known as Somos, for short. It’s an immigrant and worker rights organization.
“I work for Somos Un Pueblo Unido,” he said. “It’s a statewide worker and immigrant rights organization with various teams throughout the state. We have a huge presence here in southeast New Mexico. We are 21 years old. We’re in 10 counties throughout the state. We’re mainly in rural communities. We mainly focus in New Mexico. We are comprised of mainly immigrant and worker families.”
ICE activities of late have Somos deeply concerned.
“We have here, today, some people whose families were separated,” Leal-Sanchez said, “whose families were terrorized in Clovis. Reports have been confirmed from community members. ICE agents were in Clovis conducting these raids July 18, 19 and 20. They were able to detain eight individuals, most of them dairy workers. We believe it’s no coincidence that just as this new office opened that suddenly there is this new wave of raids and deportations in the southeast. We know that if it happened in Clovis, it can happen in Roswell, it can happen in Portales, it can happen in Lovington and all throughout this region in places where immigrants are such key members of the community.”
Blanca Torres, of Clovis, was a witness.
“Many people panicked when ICE agents went to a dairy farm to detain people,” Torres said. “They were going after workers, chasing them down. They were intimidating individuals who they had already detained to coerce them to helping them detain other people. A lot of these people were friends of mine who were terrorized by ICE agents. One friend told me that agents told them that they were here to create chaos in your home. It translates closer to a ‘(unorganized disaster)’
“They are doing this in front of people’s children, in their homes, on the streets and creating a panic in the community. All the stores are closing down, businesses are empty and the commercial atmosphere has deteriorated because of this. It is affecting everyone in the community.”
She said children are being left unprotected.
“Most of the children of people being detained are U.S. citizens,” Torres said, “and since school is out they’re at home witnessing this and being terrorized by the agents.”
Torres said many legal immigrants are afraid to stay now.
“People are panicked as a result of these raids,” she said, “and people are talking of leaving.”
Marcela Diaz is the Director of Somos Un Pueblo Unido’s main office in Santa Fe. She’s working to get Congress to see the practical implications of these raids.
“We sent all of this information to the congressional delegation,” Diaz said. “How much taxpayer resources are they going to use to do this? Do they know how fragile these communities are?”
A number of protesters commented that the dairy industry, agriculture in general and other industries would suffer as a result of these raids.
Emily Valencia is a 17-year-old senior at Roswell High School and is the director of Roswell’s Somos Chaves.
“I’ve spent my entire life around immigrants,” Valencia said. “I was born a citizen of the United States, but my relatives and friends have always been part of the immigrant community. To me, it was very important to take care of those people that have encouraged economic growth in my community.”
Valencia sees the effect of immigrants doing work that natives don’t do.
“I think it’s important to realize that the immigrant community has helped Roswell flourish in the oil fields and in the lecherias (dairies), and in every area where it is possible,” she said. “Without immigrant help there wouldn’t be as much growth as there is today.”
A common phenomenon that Valencia has seen many times is immigrant teen males signing up for selective service, or enlisting.
“I have friends in the immigrant community who have recently turned 18,” she said. “They are working to get into the United States military because this is their country and they’re ready to defend it.”
Valencia gave voice to a community concern.
“We want to let ICE know that our community of Roswell is not a base to terrorize our neighboring communities from,” she said. “ICE is going after the very people that are keeping our rural communities alive. This week it was Clovis. What is next? We are watching and we are conscious of their actions. They need to know that they are not going to separate our families.”
The Daily Record reached out to the Public Affairs office of the Department of Homeland Security. An email was received from them Thursday, in which they say they will respond with a statement as soon as possible.
Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a low scoring affair Thursday night in Alpine, Texas, the Roswell Invaders used a big eighth inning to top the host Cowboys 5-2 in the first game of a crucial season-ending series with huge playoff implications.
With three games remaining — a doubleheader today before the final regular-season game for both clubs on Saturday — the Invaders are a single game behind Alpine for the Mountain Division lead as they try to close in on a first-round bye in the Pecos League playoffs.
The top of Roswell’s lineup made the difference in the eighth, when Kaohu Gaspar, Joey Miller and Cody Bishop each singled to center field, loading the bases and prompting Alpine’s manager to switch pitchers.
With hard-hitting Bobby Webb at the plate, Cowboy reliever Alhanon Miller balked, advancing each runner and sending Gaspar across home plate, tying the contest at 2-all.
Webb knocked the next pitch out of Kokernot Field to give Roswell a 5-2 lead that proved to be the final score. Webb went 2-for-5, adding a single in the ninth inning.
Starting pitcher Eric Gleese picked up the win with an eight-hit, two-run performance over seven innings. The right-hander also went 2-for-3 at the plate.
Shortstop Louie Martini singled on in the second inning, then scored on a Gavin Lavallee single for the first run of the game.
The Invaders need to win two more to overtake the Cowboys for the No. 1 spot in the division. The season series between the squads is currently tied at 9-9.
LATROBE, Pa. (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers trickled into training camp on Thursday in pickup trucks and Porsches, Rolls Royces and Rubicons.
And in the case of ageless linebacker James Harrison, a firetruck.
Because of course he did.
Left tackle Alejandro Villaneuva showed up too, arriving with pen in hand to sign a contract extension that made the former Army Ranger a millionaire several times over as the protector of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s blind side for the rest of the decade.
Yet the player perhaps most vital to Pittsburgh’s hopes of tracking down Super Bowl champion and longtime nemesis New England by the end of January was nowhere to be found.
While his teammates went through the customary opening paces — from check-in to a conditioning test — Le’Veon Bell never made it to St. Vincent College.
The Pro Bowler has yet to sign the franchise tender that will pay him more than $12 million this season.
And while they’d rather have Bell’s familiar No. 26 on the sideline when practice starts Friday, the guys blocking for him understand business is business.
“I’m not mad at him, I’m happy for the guy,” guard Ramon Foster said. “It’s an opportunity for Le’Veon to take care of his family for generations, so why not take care of it now?”
Pittsburgh placed the franchise tag on Bell in the offseason, but was unable to find common ground for a long-term agreement.
General manager Kevin Colbert tabled any talks of revisiting an extension until after the 2017 season.
Bell, who averaged more than 150 yards of total offense last fall, tweeted “I guess I just gotta get better” when the July 17 deadline passed without a new deal in place.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown isn’t concerned so much about Bell improving as much as he is about Bell simply getting to camp.
Brown, who signed a four-year, $72-million extension in February and strolled into camp in the back seat of a 1931 Rolls Royce, isn’t sure Bell is making a point by holding out.
“I just understand the history of how these things work out,” Brown said.
“The Steelers never negotiate with civilians, especially when you don’t show up. The first rule of getting better is showing up. But I’m here, everyone’s here, you have to get the year started off on the right foot.”
Center Maurkice Pouncey offered to take a pay cut to help speed up the process.
“He can have some of my money,” said Pouncey, who signed a $44-million contract extension in 2014. “I’m totally fine with that. They can erase a year of my contract. I’m cool with just going out there and playing.”
Bell wants to reset what has been a stagnant (by NFL standards) market for running backs in recent years.
While the 25-year-old is among the most versatile players in the league — Bell caught 75 passes in just 12 games last season — he has been suspended twice for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and also has struggled to stay healthy.
Knee injuries ended his season in 2014 and 2015 and a tweaked groin rendered him a bystander in a one-sided AFC championship game loss to the Patriots.
He underwent surgery in the offseason to fix the groin and coach Mike Tomlin said there are no concerns about it being an issue whenever Bell decides to pull into the parking lot. It’s everything else that has Tomlin concerned.
“We’re a group that values this team building process and doing it in this setting,” Tomlin said. “There are consequences of him not being here.”
Tomlin called Bell’s absence an “unfortunate circumstance,” one the team managed to avoid with Villanueva.
The 28-year-old — who did several tours in Afghanistan after graduating from the Army before giving the NFL a shot in 2013 — had yet to sign his one-year exclusive rights free agent tender the club offered him in the spring, fueling speculation he might hold out.
Instead, Villanueva was on the field running sprints by late afternoon.
The question now is when the weapon Foster called “an MVP candidate” will join in.
No matter how long Bell’s holdout lasts, the Steelers don’t expect it to be a distraction.
“Look at his numbers, look at his production,” Foster said. “You know what he’s going to do and he does it and you can’t stop it. Those are most valuable player type of folks and I’m happy to be blocking for the guy.”
NOTES: The NFL has not cleared WR Martavis Bryant, coming off a year-long suspension for violating the league’s drug policy, to practice or play in games. Tomlin called the issue “procedural” and that Bryant and the team “will work extremely hard” to fulfill the conditional terms of Bryant’s re-instatement. … WR Sammie Coates will start camp on the physically unable to perform list after undergoing a second arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. … WR Canaan Severin was also placed on the PUP list after failing the conditioning test. … S Daimion Stafford was put on the reserve/did not report list.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Broncos coach Vance Joseph’s first training camp got off to a rough start with word that Devontae Booker, who was pushing to unseat C.J. Anderson as Denver’s starting running back, will undergo wrist surgery Friday and is expected to miss six weeks.
Booker suffered a hairline fracture late in OTAs but he and the team thought it was just a minor sprain until the Broncos did X-rays Wednesday when he reported for his training camp physical.
“And it was a wrist fracture,” Joseph said. “So, it’s obviously been there for a couple of months and we didn’t know and he didn’t know.”
It wasn’t something Booker tried to keep from the team, either.
“No, he didn’t hide it. It was a football nick, he thought. It wasn’t anything serious. He went home for the summer, he couldn’t bench press. He came back, we X-rayed it and it was fractured,” Joseph said.
“And, guys, he can play with this. But the concern is his long-term health. That bone can die and his hand can be kind of messed up forever. So, we didn’t want that for the kid.”
The setback marred the offseason for the second-year pro who had a solid spring in bouncing back from a rough rookie season that followed two knee surgeries.
“You see the big jump,” Anderson said. “You see that he’s a lot more concentrated. He’s a lot more focused and putting time in the playbook. Just to have a little setback like that, it’s definitely disappointing for him. We have a job to do out there and when he comes back, his spot will definitely be warm and ready for him.”
It will be hard for Booker to unseat Anderson now.
The Broncos had been planning to split first-team snaps at training camp between Booker and Anderson, who is returning from a torn meniscus last season, while Jamaal Charles slowly works his way into action after missing most of the last two seasons in Kansas City with leg injuries.
Booker led the Broncos with 174 carries for 612 yards and four touchdowns in 2016 after Anderson went on IR after getting hurt in the seventh game.
With Booker shelved, the Broncos signed free agent running back Stevan Ridley on a one-year deal. He’ll join a backfield with Anderson, veteran Juwan Thompson, rookie De’Angelo Henderson and free agent Bernard Pierce.
“I’m very thankful to have another shot,” said Ridley, a seventh-year pro who has played sparingly since 2012, when he rushed for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Patriots.
Running back was one of the positions GM John Elway mentioned Wednesday when he emphasized there was a lot more to training camp this summer than the headliner competition between quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.
QB COMPETITION KICKS OFF IN EARNEST: The Broncos skipped the 2-minute drills and the team drills where wide receivers and DBs routinely sprint 40 or 50 yards downfield and went straight — and strictly — to red zone drills with Siemian and Lynch.
“Trevor said that’s crazy because that’s one of the hardest things that the quarterback has to do,” linebacker Brandon Marshall said. “But, why not throw them right into the fire? That’s perfect.”
Although Denver’s star-studded defense made it hard for both QBs, Siemian said he appreciated Joseph going straight to red zone drills a day after players went through conditioning drills because it was good for players’ bodies and minds.
“Usually you get back and you’re in the first install and you’re throwing to a bunch of green grass and kind of ease your way into it,” said Siemian, whose strength is the short and intermediate passes. “Whereas down there, it’s bang-bang, especially with our guys. So, good to get those reps early on.”
Lynch, whose hallmark is the deep ball, said, “It’s kind of tough with those guys. We’ve got a good defense and when you get down into the red zone you’re going to have to take some chances with the ball and throw it into some tight areas. But I think Coach Joseph did a good job of letting everybody kind of get their feet under them and not having them running all over the field.”
OFFENSIVE LINE CONTINUES MAKEOVER: The acquisition of guard Allen Barbre from the Eagles means the Broncos could have four new starters along the offensive line with center Matt Paradis: Garett Bolles and Menelik Watson at tackle, Barbre and Ron Leary at guard.
The Broncos traded a conditional draft pick to the Eagles for Barbre, a 10th-year veteran.
“He’s a smart, steady guy,” Joseph said. “He’s a nice addition.”
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Marreese Speights is finally returning home — or close to it.
The Orlando Magic announced Thursday that the 6-foot-10 veteran center from St. Petersburg has signed a contract. Speights couldn’t be more thrilled to between his hometown and Gainesville where he won a national title with Florida in 2007.
“It’s an unreal feeling,” he said. “If I try to explain it it would be an understatement. I just feel blessed to be here. I never thought I’d be playing for my home team.”
In addition to Speights, the Magic also announced the signing of veteran guard Arron Afflalo and free-agent center Khem Birch.
With Speights, the Magic get a proven post player who has been one of the best bench players in the NBA the last few years. He spent last season with the Los Angeles Clippers after winning a championship as a key reserve during his stint with the Golden State Warriors.
Speights, who is entering his 10th season, will likely serve as the backup to Nikola Vucevic but the Magic also have shot-blocker Bismack Biymobo, which could make for a logjam in the post in an era where NBA teams favor small ball.
Speights, however, gives the Magic a chance to space the floor even more because of his 3-point shooting ability. He made 103 3-pointers for the Clippers last season, converting 37 percent from beyond the arch while averaging 8.7 points and 4.5 rebounds.
“Only thing I can really control is coming in and work every day,” Speights said. “If I don’t play it’s okay. I’m not really chasing nothing coming here, I’ve already won a championship.”
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Four more Division I conferences will join a men’s basketball officiating alliance formed last year by the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East, the Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association.
The Big South, the Ivy League, the Northeast and the Patriot League are joining ahead of the 2017-18 season, according to announcements from the leagues Thursday. The alliance launched last summer for conferences to work together on officiating matters and enhance training, development, recruitment, retention and feedback for officials.
John Cahill, the Big East’s supervisor of officials, and Bryan Kersey, the ACC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, will continue to lead the alliance operations.
ACC commissioner John Swofford says the new additions to the alliance “provide an even greater opportunity to build chemistry and quality” across the officiating ranks.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals staged their own version of the Home Run Derby, with Michael Blazek serving as the unwilling batting practice pitcher.
Washington tied a franchise record with eight homers and matched two major league marks during a prolific third inning that highlighted a 15-2 rout of the fading Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman each homered twice for the Nationals, who banged out 19 hits in reaching double figures in runs for the 18th time this season.
“We have a lineup that can do some special things,” Harper said. “Anything can happen.”
Washington equaled two big league records in a seven-run third: Most consecutive home runs (four) and most home runs in an inning (five).
“We had a big offensive barrage today,” manager Dusty Baker said, understating the obvious.
All the home runs in the third inning were hit off Blazek (0-1), who was making his first major league start following 108 appearances in relief.
“I felt like I made some decent pitches but they were locked in on everything,” the right-hander said. “It’s not how I pictured it going.”
He could have hardly imagined becoming the first pitcher in baseball history to allow five home runs in an inning.
Only five other major league teams hit five homers in an inning, a feat that had not occurred since Milwaukee did it in 2006. Washington became the eighth team to hit four in a row, the first since Arizona in 2010.
After Harper connected in the first inning, Brian Goodwin started the long-ball party in the third with a two-run drive after Blazek walked Washington starter Max Scherzer.
“The last thing I wanted to do was lead off the inning with a walk, especially to a pitcher,” Blazek said. “It just kept building and building from there.”
Wilmer Difo, Harper and Zimmerman followed with long home runs.
The streak was interrupted when Daniel Murphy flied out, after which some of the fans reacted with good-natured booing.
Anthony Rendon resumed the fun with a shot to dead center that finally chased Blazek, who gave up seven hits — six of them long balls.
Zimmerman and Jose Lobaton both homered off Wily Peralta in the fourth for a 15-1 lead.
The eight home runs tied the franchise mark set in July 1978 by the Montreal Expos against Atlanta.
Pitching on his 33rd birthday, Scherzer (12-5) allowed one run over six innings and struck out nine to bring his total this year to 201 — his sixth consecutive season with at least 200, the longest active streak in the majors.
He contributed offensively with two walks and an infield hit.
“What a birthday gift! I wanted to get a win and a knock,” he said. “Fifteen runs, a pitcher’s best friend.”
Harper chipped in with three hits and four RBIs while extending his career-best hitting streak to 19 games.
Travis Shaw and Lewis Brinson homered for the Brewers, who have lost nine of 11 to drop from first place in the NL Central.
“It’s on to the next challenge,” manager Craig Counsell said, referring to a weekend series against the division-leading Cubs in Milwaukee.
One positive for the Brewers in this one: Left fielder Hernan Perez pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
MOVE OVER, HONDO
Zimmerman’s two home runs upped his total with the Nationals to 237, tied with Frank Howard for most in D.C. history.
Known affectionately as “Hondo,” the 6-foot-7 Howard played with the expansion Senators from 1965-71.
The Brewers added RHP Anthony Swarzak to the roster after obtaining him Wednesday in a trade with the White Sox.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (10-3, 3.25 ERA) was placed on the 10-day disabled list with an elbow impingement. Baker expects Strasburg to miss only one start. … OF Michael Taylor (oblique strain) is almost ready to begin baseball activities, Baker said. Taylor has been on the DL since July 7.
Brewers: Brent Suter (1-1, 2.84 ERA) takes the mound Friday night against the Cubs.
Nationals: Tanner Roark (8-6, 4.83 ERA) helps Washington launch a three-game series at home against the Colorado Rockies.