Together, the two will attempt uncover his origins.
Warner Bros. Television/Palladin Productions will begin principal photography this month.
Together, the two will attempt uncover his origins.
Warner Bros. Television/Palladin Productions will begin principal photography this month.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Allsup’s Convenience Stores, the chain that operates throughout New Mexico and Texas, is giving its employees a little extra money.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the chain gave all full-time, non-executive employees a one-time time cash bonuses of $1,000 on Thursday.
Owners of the Clovis, New Mexico-based company said a statement that the windfall was “a result of the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed” in December.
The bonus went to employees who have been with the company at least a year.
The company operates 317 stores in New Mexico, West Texas and Oklahoma and employs 3,200 full-time and part-time employees. It did not say how many of its employees received a bonus this week.
The convenience store chain is known for its chicken chimichanga and beef burrito.
CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A stretch of highway in southeast New Mexico will be designated as a safety corridor, allowing police to double the fines for traffic violations.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation on Thursday announced the designation for the section of U.S. Highway 285 from the town of Loving to the border with Texas.
According to the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, nine people died on this stretch of roadway last year. The deaths spurred residents and officials to search for ways to improve safety.
State officials say that in addition to the higher traffic tickets, the safety corridor designation will improve road signage and provide funding for police to work overtime.
The state department says 12 signs will be added to this highway section to mark the corridor.
MIAMI (AP) — A college student who narrowly escaped from a car that got smashed by a collapsing bridge said he watched helplessly as the structure tumbled down on top of the vehicle and killed the friend who was sitting next to him in the driver’s seat.
Richie Humble, who studies at Florida International University, was riding in a car under the pedestrian bridge when he heard a long creaking noise coming from the structure that spanned a busy Miami-area highway. It sounded different from anything he had ever heard before.
“I looked up, and in an instant, the bridge was collapsing on us completely. It was too quick to do anything about it,” Humble said Friday in a phone interview with The Associated Press.
The falling concrete has already claimed six lives, and rescuers kept looking for bodies in the ruins of the structure, including that of the young woman who was at the wheel, Alexa Duran, whose family said she was dead.
Relatives and friends of people still missing after Thursday’s collapse gathered at the university, longing and praying for miracles as authorities tried to get inside the crushed cars still pinned under slabs of the bridge.
Once he realized he was alive, Humble also realized that he could not get to Duran. He called to her but got no response. A group of men outside the car started yelling at him to try crawling through the rear window.
He made his way into the back seat but couldn’t squeeze through because the window was crushed. The men outside grabbed a wooden plank and pried open the rear door to pull him free, he said.
“I was trying to get people to realize my friend was still in there,” he said.
Rescue workers sent him away in an ambulance. He suffered cuts to his leg from glass and a slight fracture to a vertebra, but he was able to walk away from the scene.
He described Alexa as one of his best friends. They met at a mixer hosted by his fraternity and her sorority, and she had asked him to a semi-formal dance.
“That’s when I saw a light in her, and we became best friends,” Humble said. “I want people to know Alexa was one of the downright sweetest girls. People should cherish every moment you have with your friends, because you don’t know when it’s going to be the last time.”
While families waited for word on their loved ones, investigators sought to understand why the 950-ton bridge gave way during construction. The cables supporting the span were being tightened following a “stress test” when it collapsed, authorities said.
“This is a tragedy that we don’t want to re-occur anywhere in the United States,” said Juan Perez, director of the Miami-Dade police. “We just want to find out what caused this collapse to occur and people to die.”
Detectives declared the rubble a homicide scene, and the National Transportation Safety Board arrived to investigate.
Scheduled to open in 2019, the bridge would have provided safe passage over a canal and six lanes of traffic and created a showpiece architectural feature connecting the campus of Florida International University with the community of Sweetwater, where many students live.
The $14.2 million project was supposed to take advantage of a faster, cheaper and safer method of bridge-building promoted by the university.
Authorities have not confirmed the victims’ names. The fatalities included a student at FIU. One person died at a hospital, and Perez said five bodies were located with the help of cameras but had not yet been retrieved.
In a Facebook post, Chelsea Brownfield said she was awaiting any information about her husband, Brandon. According to a Go Fund Me page set up for the family, Brandon Brownfield was driving home from work when the collapse happened.
“The outpouring of love we have received is incredible,” Chelsea Brownfield wrote. “I know you are all concerned for us. We still have not received any news or updates about Brandon Brownfield or the progress of the search (and) rescue.”
The post ended with the hashtag “praying for a miracle.”
Brownfield declined to comment in a message to The Associated Press.
Jorge and Carol Fraga feared their relative’s car was trapped beneath the bridge. Jorge’s 60-year-old uncle, Rolando Fraga, lives in the area and frequently takes the nearby turnpike to work, but no one has heard from him since midday Thursday.
“The waiting is so … I don’t have words for that,” Carol Fraga said through tears.
The bridge was put in place March 10, five days before the collapse.
When finished, the span would have been supported from above, with a tall, off-center tower and cables attached to the walkway. That tower had not yet been installed, and it was unclear what builders were using as temporary supports.
BEIRUT (AP) — Airstrikes in Syria killed more than 100 people on Friday as civilians, weary and many wounded, fled besieged areas for the second straight day.
Syrian government forces stepped up their offensive in the rebel-held eastern suburbs of the capital, Damascus, capturing a major town and closing in on another under the cover of Russia’s air power.
The majority of the deaths occurred in eastern Ghouta, where government forces have been on a crushing offensive for three weeks, capturing 70 percent of the besieged area. The weekslong violence has left more than 1,300 civilians dead, 5,000 wounded and forced thousands to flee to government-controlled areas.
Friday’s staggering death toll came a day after Syria passed the seven-year mark in its relentless civil war that has killed some 450,000 people and displaced half the country’s population.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said bombing and shelling by government and Russian forces killed a total of 76 people in eastern Ghouta, including 64 killed in Kafr Batna and another 12 in Saqba. Government forces also captured the nearby town of Jisreen, it said.
“If the world does not move, Ghouta will be exterminated,” said Siraj Mahmoud, a member of the opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense search-and-rescue group.
The Observatory said another 36 people were killed in the Kurdish-held town of Afrin in northern Syria, where Turkish troops and Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters have been on the offensive since Jan. 20. The dead included nine killed in airstrikes that hit the town’s general hospital.
Friday’s government attack on Kafr Batna was with cluster bombs, napalm-like incendiary weapons, and conventional explosives, the Observatory said.
Photos and videos released from the area showed charred bodies covered with sheets lined up near what appeared to be shops.
A medical charity supporting hospitals in eastern Ghouta, the Syrian American Medical Society, said doctors in Kafr Batna were treating patients for severe burn wounds.
Oways al-Shami, a spokesman for the Syrian Civil Defense, said the airstrikes targeted a market and a nearby residential area where scores of people had gathered to buy bread and vegetables during a daily truce called by Russia.
“The medical situation is catastrophic. We can’t stay in this situation for long,” said Dr. Zouhair Kahaleh in the nearby town of Arbeen. Roads were closed, he said, and “we can’t treat some of the cases here. It’s a major challenge to reach the wounded because of the intensity of the airstrikes.”
Exhausted and shell-shocked civilians streamed out of the rebel enclave Friday, a day after tens of thousands evacuated the area in the biggest single-day exodus of the war.
Syria’s U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told the U.N. Security Council that more than 40,000 civilians left eastern Ghouta on Thursday through a new security corridor opened by the government in the recently retaken town of Hamouria. An additional 30,000 people fled the Turkish military offensive on Afrin, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
A man interviewed in Hamouria Friday on state-affiliated al-Ikhbariya TV said he had gone two days without food. Others said rebels hoarded food and humiliated civilians, even shooting people trying to leave.
The United Nations has warned of a malnutrition crisis in eastern Ghouta, which human rights groups have blamed on the government’s strangling blockade.
Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. envoy for Syria, told the Security Council that although a six-day cease-fire was largely holding in Douma, the largest city in eastern Ghouta, fighting has escalated elsewhere in the rebel-held region where 400,000 people are estimated to be holed up, as well as in Afrin and across many other parts of Syria.
In Afrin, the Turkish military urged civilians to leave and Syrian Kurdish militiamen to surrender to the besieging Turkish forces.
The media office for the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led and U.S.-backed force that operates in the Kurdish autonomous region, said at least 30 people were wounded in Friday’s attacks.
Video posted by the Observatory showed victims lying dead in the streets in pools of blood.
Since their January offensive began, Turkish forces have nearly encircled Afrin as they press their campaign to drive the Syrian Kurdish fighters from the town and surrounding region, where tens of thousands of civilians are still believed trapped.
On Friday, Turkish aircraft dropped flyers in Arabic and Kurdish on Afrin, asking residents to stay away from “terrorist positions” — a reference to the Syrian Kurdish fighters — and to not let themselves be used as “human shields.”
The leaflets claimed that civilians seeking to flee Afrin would be guaranteed safety by the Turkish military and urged Syrian Kurdish fighters to “trust the hand we extend to you.”
“Come surrender! A calm and peaceful future awaits you in Afrin,” the leaflets read.
Meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council again demanded a cease-fire throughout Syria and backed a U.N.-endorsed roadmap for a peaceful transition and elections. Members reaffirmed that U.N.-led talks in Geneva “remain the central process to find a political solution.”
Mistura, the U.N. envoy for Syria, told the council that he hasn’t been able to form a committee to draft a new constitution because President Bashar Assad’s government hasn’t engaged and “we need to have comprehensive participation of all Syrian parties.”
Ministers from Russia, Turkey and Iran also underscored the need for a political solution in a joint statement after a meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Friday and urged international support for de Mistura’s efforts to form a constitutional committee.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Veteran U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, a Kentucky blacksmith’s daughter who went on to chair one of Congress’ most important committees, died Friday at a Washington hospital where she was being treated after falling in her home, her top aide said. She was 88.
The New York Democrat died at George Washington University Hospital a week after a fall in which Slaughter had sustained a concussion, said Liam Fitzsimmons, her chief of staff.
Slaughter was the first woman to chair the House Rules Committee and was her party’s top member on the panel when she died.
Slaughter was serving her 16th term in the House, and her 31 years in the chamber made her its third longest-serving woman, according to the official House website. She chaired the rules committee from 2007 through 2010.
A special election will be held to elect someone to serve out the rest of Slaughter’s term, which expires Dec. 31. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo will set the date for the special election in the 25th Congressional District, which includes the city of Rochester.
Slaughter had a degree in microbiology and was originally from Harlan County, Kentucky. Her soft, twangy accent always seemed out of place for someone representing a western New York district. But she was repeatedly re-elected — “including a narrow victory in 2014 — and was the longest-serving member of Congress from New York when she died.
“Louise never forgot her roots as the daughter of a Kentucky blacksmith,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. “She brought the grace and grit of her Southern background to her leadership in the Congress, building bridges and breaking down barriers all with her beautiful accent. Louise could be fiercely debating on the floor in the morning, and singing in harmony with her colleagues across the aisle in the evening.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan called Slaughter “a giant in the people’s House” and said she was “unrelenting” in working for her ideals and constituents.
“Louise did not need a gavel to make a dent in history,” the Republican speaker said.
Slaughter was the chief force behind a 2012 law to ban insider stock trading based on congressional knowledge and require disclosure of market activities by lawmakers. She also helped write the Violence Against Women Act and a 2008 law designed to protect people with genetic predispositions to health conditions from facing discrimination from their employers or health insurance companies.
Her death creates a vacancy at the top of the Democratic side of the Rules panel, which sets the terms of House floor debates. It’s likely to be filled by Rep. Jim McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts.
When Slaughter was first elected in 1986, she ousted Republican Rep. Fred Eckert after running a campaign ad in which the sister of kidnapped Associated Press reporter Terry Anderson accused him of refusing to speak up for her brother.
The sister, Peggy Say, and Anderson were both from the Rochester, New York, area. Anderson, the AP’s Middle East bureau chief, had been captured the year before by Islamic militants in Beirut, Lebanon, and was not released until 1991.
Slaughter was born Dorothy Louise McIntosh on Aug. 14, 1929, in Appalachian coal country. According to the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, she was doing market research for a major chemicals manufacturer in Texas in the 1950s when she met Ohio native Robert “Bob” Slaughter. They married in 1957 and moved to the Rochester area for her husband’s job. He later joined Eastman Kodak as a legal administrator. Bob Slaughter died in 2014 at age 82.
The couple became involved in local Democratic politics while living in suburban Rochester. Louise Slaughter served in the Monroe County Legislature between 1976 and 1979, then worked for Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo before serving in the state Assembly from 1982 to 1986. That year she defeated Eckert to become the first woman to represent western New York in Congress.
As Kodak and other Rochester-area manufacturers shed thousands of jobs over the years, Slaughter worked with New York’s congressional delegation to bring high-tech companies to the region and fought for federal dollars to improve the infrastructure, including a new Amtrak train station that opened last year.
“She was such a tireless advocate and great public servant for our community and region throughout her tenure in Congress,” said Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy, a former Rochester mayor and lieutenant governor under current Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“She was trailblazer, a partner and friend ever since we worked together for my father more than four decades ago,” Andrew Cuomo said in a statement, calling her a “champion for New York.”
“The ferocity of her advocacy was matched only by the depth of her compassion and humanity,” added Senate Minority Leader and fellow New York Democrat Chuck Schumer.
The Slaughters are survived by three daughters, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Funeral arrangements are pending.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican on Friday removed the suspended Guam archbishop from office and ordered him not to return to the Pacific island after convicting him of some charges in a sex abuse trial.
The Vatican didn’t say what exactly Archbishop Anthony Apuron had been convicted of, and the sentence was far lighter than those given high-profile elderly prelates found guilty of molesting minors. It amounts to an early retirement anywhere in the world but Guam, a remote U.S. Pacific territory where nearly everyone is Roman Catholic.
Apuron is 72, while the Vatican retirement age is 75.
The Vatican spokesman declined to comment. Calls placed to the tribunal judge weren’t answered. Apuron’s whereabouts weren’t immediately known.
“While I am relieved that the tribunal dismissed the majority of the accusations against me, I have appealed the verdict,” said a statement from Apuron distributed by his Guam attorney, Jacqueline Terlaje. “God is my witness; I am innocent and I look forward to proving my innocence in the appeals process.”
Pope Francis named a temporary administrator for Guam in 2016 after Apuron was accused by former altar boys of sexually abusing them when he was a priest. Dozens of cases involving other priests on the island have since come to light, and the archdiocese is facing more than $115 million in civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse by priests.
Apuron strongly denied the charges and said he was a victim of a “calumny” campaign. He wasn’t criminally charged. The statute of limitations had expired.
A statement from the tribunal in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles sex abuse cases, said Apuron had been convicted of some of the accusations against him. It said he had been ordered removed from office and could no longer live in the archdiocese of Guam.
Under an appeal, the penalties could be suspended until the case is resolved. However, it’s not clear whether that has happened now that Apuron has indicated he has appealed.
In the past, when an elderly or infirm priest has been convicted by the Vatican of sexually abusing minors, he has often been removed from ministry and sentenced to a lifetime of “penance and prayer.” Younger priests convicted of abuse have been defrocked, removed from ministry or forbidden from presenting themselves as priests.
Francis, however, has intervened in a handful of cases to lower sentences, and several high-ranking Vatican prelates oppose defrocking convicted molesters and have long lobbied for more lenient sentences.
In the case of Apuron, no restrictions on his ministry as a priest were announced.
An ailing Apuron greeted Francis at the pope’s Feb. 7 general audience.
Apuron is one of the highest-ranking churchmen to be convicted by a Vatican sex abuse tribunal, and his rank as archbishop may have played a role in his seemingly light sentence.
Assuming the evidence against him was grave and credible, the Vatican might still have been reluctant to remove him from the clerical state, as it has done in hundreds of cases of defrocked priestly abusers, because Apuron would still remain a bishop theologically speaking, noted Kurt Martens, professor of canon law at Catholic University of America in Washington.
That means he could continue ordaining priests — ordinations that would be considered illicit but still valid — a schismatic conflict the Vatican would want to avoid.
The Catholic community on Guam has been convulsed by the Apuron scandal, with weekly protests demanding his ouster.
The accusations against him also involved grave financial problems in the archdiocese and the purchase of a valuable property by Apuron for a diocesan seminary that he actually turned over to a controversial Catholic movement.
A lay group that agitated for Apuron’s removal, “Concerned Catholics of Guam,” pushed for an investigation into the archdiocesan seminary, which Apuron opened in 1999 and moved to an 18-acre (seven-hectare) property thanks to a $2 million anonymous donation.
A Vatican-backed inquiry found the property’s control had effectively been transferred to Neocatechumenal Way administrators without Vatican approval.
The seminary controversy came to a head when the Carmelite order of religious sisters revealed it had provided the $2 million donation, but said the money had been intended for an archdiocesan seminary to train diocesan priests, not a Neocatechumenal Way seminary to train missionaries.
In a remarkable 2016 news conference to denounce the transfer, Carmelite Mother Superior Dawn Marie announced that her small community of nuns had left the island after a 50-year presence because of the “toxic environment” created by the controversy.
MY LAI, Vietnam (AP) — With talk of peace and cooperation rather than hatred, more than a thousand people marked the 50th anniversary Friday of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, the most notorious episode in modern U.S. military history.
On March 16, 1968, the American soldiers of Charlie Company were sent on what they were told was a mission to confront a crack outfit of their Vietcong enemies, but met no resistance and over three to four hours killed 504 unarmed civilians, mostly women, children and elderly men in My Lai and a neighboring community.
Provincial official Dang Ngoc Dung said at the commemoration the My Lai massacre was a typical case of “cruel crimes committed by aggressive and hostile forces” during the war. He did not name the United States but said Vietnam wants to set aside the past and befriend other countries to build a better, peaceful future.
Relations between the U.S. and Vietnam are the strongest they’ve been since they normalized ties in 1995. The United States is now one of Vietnam’s top trading partners and investors, and relations have also expanded to security and defense.
Do Ba was 9 when American soldiers came to his house and rounded up his mother, three siblings and himself and took them to a drainage ditch. His mother and sibling were killed there. Ba was wounded, covered in blood and buried under bodies.
He played dead out of fear the soldiers would come back to kill him. He was finally rescued by a U.S Army helicopter crew that landed amid the massacre and intervened to stop the killing.
“Twenty years ago, I still harbored hatred against the American soldiers who killed my mother, brothers and sister,” he said “But now after 50 years as Vietnam and the United States together developed their relations, people set aside their pain and suffering to build a better society.”
At Friday’s event, several dozen girls wearing traditional Ao Dai outfits and dove headgear, performed dances in tribute for the victims and to promote peace. Participants including government leaders, villagers and a group of American veterans laid flowers to pay tribute to the victims.
The My Lai Peace Foundation, a local non-governmental organization, was launched at the event.
“Vietnam had suffered numerous pains of wars,” Truong Ngoc Thuy, president of the foundation, said at the launch. “We therefore more than anyone else understand the price of peace, we desire for peace.”
Historian Duong Trung Quoc noted that a U.S. aircraft carrier recently made a friendly visit to a Vietnamese port for the first time since the war.
“The war has ended and both nations have learned from its lessons,” Quoc said. “The greatest outcome of the lessons is for two nations to come close together in friendship and shared responsibilities, for the benefit of the people in both countries.”
Americans who visit My Lai seem as often motivated by guilt as by wishes for a better world. It is a sort of pilgrimage for many and several have established projects, such as school and medical facilities, to contribute to the development of My Lai.
Mike Hastie, a 73-year old retired nurse from Portland, Oregon, who was a U.S. Army medic from September 1970 to September 1971 in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, visited this week. He thinks many veterans do not come because they are too ashamed to face the Vietnamese people.
“It’s just important that the My Lai massacre never be forgotten, because I think the greatest sin that we could commit would be to forget the 504 Vietnamese people who were murdered at My Lai. That’s why the history has to be kept alive, not only for them but their relatives and for the country of Vietnam,” he said.
What constitutes “primary access” and what exactly do county records show about previous actions taken regarding roads?
These are two of the questions that can make decisions about county road closures, or road vacations, so controversial.
“Some years we have hunters that are very upset with us. Some years we have landowners that are very upset with us,” said Chaves County Manager Stanton Riggs at the Thursday morning meeting of the county Board of Commissioners.
A full house appeared at the commission meeting at the Chaves County Administrative Center. Many people in attendance, including those behind a petition drive, were interested in hearing what three appointed “freeholders” had decided regarding 16 road vacation requests, nine submitted by the county and seven by landowners.
The freeholders — Steven Chaves, Travis Johnson and Alan Theobald — decided unanimously after visiting the roads March 7 to reject four applications, including three northwest of Roswell near the Flying H community and Picacho Road. Commissioners voted to accept the freeholders’ reports.
The Picacho Road area is of interest to hunters, recreationists and sports enthusiasts, who use the federal and state lands accessible by county roads. A decision last year by commissioners to close a county road in the area that went through a ranch owned by the Casabonnes upset many people.
Riggs said that county policy dictates that the elected commissioners have no further role regarding the applications that freeholders agree upon unanimously. A lawyer representing a rancher who opposes the freeholders’ decision regarding his application later questioned that point.
The commissioners still have to consider 10 road applications that the freeholders recommend for vacation. Another two applications were made by the county but have been withdrawn upon further consideration, Chaves County Public Services Director Bill Williams told the board.
Commissioners will hold a public hearing April 19 to allow comments from interested parties on the remaining road applications and then will visit each road starting at 7 a.m. April 23, a site tour the public can also attend, before deciding whether to keep the roads as county property.
Freeholders’ decision is applauded, opposed
The freeholders’ decisions and commissioners’ votes regarding the Picacho Road area pleased members of Access New Mexico, said its spokesman Mark Pantuso.
He said that his group and the New Mexico Wildlife Federation presented commissioners with 3,200 signatures of people who were opposed to closures that limit access to publicly owned land.
“What we are going to do from here forward is to make sure that we don’t see the road closures that we are concerned about showing up on any other meeting agenda,” he said. “I do feel that what we did help, and it just brought everyone together and made us realize that we have to, I guess, work the system we have.”
He said he and other group members made radio and TV appearances, emailed commissioners to let them know of their objections and held meetings.
“We think the freeholders acted in the best interest of Chaves County residents and public land users in New Mexico who rely on these roads for recreation and access to thousands of acres of (Bureau of Land Management) and state lands,” added Gabe Vasquez of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation. “We are pleased they followed the guidance of the Chaves County road policy, which clearly states that the county shall not vacate roads that provide primary access to public land. We are grateful for the freeholders’ decision, as are the 3,200 people who signed the petition to keep the roads open.”
Among those who are not happy are a rancher and his supporters.
Steven Ellyson, whose request for the vacation of 2.37 miles of road on Felix Canyon was denied, plans to continue talking with commissioners and county staff to change the situation, according to his lawyer, Lane Martin of Carlsbad.
Martin said that the state statute does not require commissioners to accept the freeholders’ decisions, even when unanimous, but does specify that commissioners should consider the full report of the freeholders, not just their summary.
“If you look at the statute, it requires the freeholders to ‘fully’ report, and I quote the word ‘fully’ from the specific statute,” Martin said. “There is no mention in the summary of the condition of the road. There is no mention in the summary of the cost to maintain that road. There is no mention of the dangers of the road in that summary.”
Ellyson, who said he has owned the land for seven months, described a road that becomes dangerous and impassable after rains or snow. He said he once had to help rescue hunters, at his own expense, who had become stuck on the road and was himself, after a rain four months ago, unable to leave his ranch except by helicopter. He said he had to spend about $20,000 to make the road usable again.
“What worries me and should you, too, is the liability of what could happen,” he said.
Ellyson also told commissioners that he is willing to work with land officials about creating additional access or creating better signage about what other roads do exist into public lands.
“I am not trying to block anyone access. I am here to work. I am here to give you solutions. I am here to help,” he said.
Another person at the meeting, Dave Romine, who said his wife’s family owned the Ellyson ranch previously, contended that the road already was closed by commissioners in 1979. Riggs and Williams said they have not yet found any documents to indicate that.
Williams said after the meeting that freeholders discussed the Ellyson vacation application extensively but ultimately decided that the road should not be closed because, although there are other roads to public lands in that area, the road in the Ellyson area is the one providing primary access.
The other road vacation requests rejected unanimously by commissioners were the following:
• A request by Terry Bogle to close a one-mile portion of Caddo Road in Dexter. Freeholders decided the road was regularly used by many people, including emergency responders, Williams said.
• A request by Helen Henderson to close about five miles of C4-033 on Picacho Road. According to Williams, the freeholders reported that they had determined that the road is used daily by many people.
• A request by H.C. Hendricks to close 4.77 miles of C4-042, known as both Felix Canyon Road and Picacho Road. Williams said that freeholders reported that they found this road to be both a primary access to public lands and a frequently used road.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at email@example.com.
After collecting data and requests from the neighborhood families, Parks and Recreation Department provided a playground to Linda Vista Park, while working with neighborhood residents every step of the way.
“This is the first time where we asked everybody what they wanted,” Burress said. “We let them come pick out the colors. We put signs up and listened to what everybody said because we had to make sure we match the playground with the ages of the children, so it is going to be around a while. Everybody who is here was part of it, so hopefully, they have ownership and they watch it, so it won’t get torn up.”
Linda Vista Park is primarily located at 3100 N. Delicado Drive, north of Mescalero Avenue and west of Garden Avenue. A neighborhood mother and daughter, Hannah and Demi, 6, Robertson live across the street and have watched the process of the park from start to finish. Hannah Robertson said the park improvements were exciting because prior to this she would have to take Demi to other parts of town to play.
“One morning she (Demi) was standing at the front glass door and she said ‘Finally! I’ve been waiting my whole life for this!’” Hannah Robertson said when the playground was visible.
In addition to the playground, new backstops, soccer goals and another ADA complaint bench, which will go under a canopy, will be added soon according to Burress.
Though Burress said the park took only a month to construct, Hannah Robertson said Burress took about seven months of planning and hard work and that the city is fortunate to have him.
“There was nothing here,” Hannah Robertson said. “A long time ago there used to be a swing set here and I guess a long time ago a drunk driver hit it, so they took it out. So there was nothing on this side and just the two swings over on that side.”
The city held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday afternoon and despite the wind, the playground was filled with many local children. Mayor Dennis Kintigh and Demi Robertson cut the ribbon as it was held by the Parks and Recreation staff.
Burress said Evan James, a local Eagle Scout, wanted to put in an American Disabilities Act (ADA) access to the park. James dug a ramp, poured the concrete and built a shade structure for one of his projects while following the city’s rules.
Jim and the Parks and Recreation crew said Demi was sweet and said it was important to make progress every day because they saw her watching from her front door. Burress said his staff works for the people in Roswell, especially the kids, and he is very proud of them for putting the playground together. In addition to a couple of irrigation projects and the consistent daily work the department does for 22 parks and other amenities, Burress said he hopes to have one or two playgrounds — or other park improvements per year.
“This is an example of a city staff committed to serving the community, (this is what it) is all about,” Mayor Dennis Kintigh said. “Thank you guys for doing this.”
“It’s moments like that,” Hannah Robertson said about the staff working with Demi as the playground was constructed. “I promise you she’ll remember that for the rest of her life whenever she got her own play equipment at her park.”
City reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A man was charged with armed robbery, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and aggravated assault Wednesday evening after allegedly pointing a gun at a woman while the two were in a vehicle parked at a small business strip.
According to court documents filed by the Roswell Police Department, authorities responded to an incident at about 6 p.m. at the 2600 block of North Main Street.
According to what the victim told police, 37-year-old Nathan Cole Owens had pointed a gun at her and stated, “you are going to die.”
Owens is currently in custody at the Chaves County Detention Center.
The following reports are from the Roswell Police Department and are available at rpdp2c.org. All people arrested or cited are presumed innocent.
Sherry D. Carlton was charged with failure to comply at the corner of South Washington Avenue and West McGaffey Street at 12:03 a.m.
Michelle A. Tarvin was charged with failure to pay fines at the 200 block of West Mathews Street at 12:03 a.m.
Amber Dawn Rials was charged with failure to comply at 5 Summer Wind Pl. at 12:46 a.m.
Joseph G. Tyson was charged with embezzlement at the 100 block of West Second Street at 8:12 a.m.
Kalon D. Hood was charged with concealing identity at the 1600 block of West Second Street at 5:56 p.m.
Justino Martinez was charged with obstructing an officer at the 400 block of West Sixth Street at 8:55 p.m.
Raquel Antoinette Urias was charged with failure to comply at the corner of West McGaffey and South Sunset Avenue at 9:48 p.m.
Brandy C. Salazar was charged with failure to appear at the 1900 block of South Sunset Avenue at 10:38 p.m.
Briana M. Lucero was charged with possession of controlled prohibited substances at the corner of West McGaffey and South Sunset Avenue at 10:58 p.m.
Raquel Antoinette Urias was charged with failure to appear at the corner of West McGaffey and South Sunset Avenue at 12:07 a.m.
Arturo Urias was charged with failure to pay fines and failure to comply at the 200 block of West Deming Street at 3:27 a.m.
George Kevin Evilsizer was charged with possession of controlled prohibited substances, failure to comply, failure to pay fines, shoplifting and failure to appear at the Kmart at 1705 S. Main St. at 9 a.m.
Steven Jesus Montes was charged with aggravated assault at the 3000 block of North Main Street at 4:53 p.m.
Allan Lowle Reed was charged with drinking in public at the 1100 block of North Main Street at 6:20 p.m.
Ronald Lee Masson was charged with shoplifting at the 300 block of Birch Avenue at 7:24 p.m.
Breanna Faith Lay was charged with failure to comply at the 100 block of West Second Street at 7:40 p.m.
John Urias-Rivas was charged with possession of marijuana at the corner of West Tilden Street and South Main Street at 10:23 p.m.
Cody L. Breeden was charged with a probation violation and a miscellaneous arrest at the 2000 block of West Alameda at 12:24 a.m.
Derald Wayne Helms was charged with public nuisance at the 1600 block of Southeast Main Street at 2:21 a.m.
Manuel C. Sosa was charged with trafficking a controlled substance or synthetic drug at the 3700 block of South Atkinson Avenue at 9:17 a.m.
Andrew Joseph Amato was charged with breaking and entering at the 1200 block of Mimosa Lane at 2:15 p.m.
Felix Tommy Vallejos was charged with disturbing contents of a trash receptacle at the 200 block of North Kansas Avenue at 2:38 p.m.
Brandon Keith Boykin was charged with a miscellaneous arrest from another agency at the 400 block of South Union Avenue.
Police were dispatched to a domestic dispute at the 200 block of West Mathews Street at 12:46 a.m. A cellphone was reported stolen.
Police were dispatched to vehicle burglary at the 1400 block of Taylor Drive at 4:05 a.m. A wallet containing multiple cards was reported stolen.
Police were dispatched to a report of fraud at the 400 block of West Second Street at 5:25 a.m.
Police were dispatched to an unattended death at the 1000 block of Hamilton Drive at 5:40 a.m.
Police were dispatched to an unattended death at the 1000 block of North Greenwood Avenue at 6:58 a.m.
Police were dispatched to a report of fraud at the 2000 block of Southeast Main Street at 8:36 a.m.
Police were dispatched to a report of fraud at the 600 block of South Main Street at 1:11 p.m.
Police were dispatched to a report of fraud at the 600 block of South Main Street at 2:43 p.m.
Police were dispatched to a larceny at the 1500 block of Pontiac Drive at 5:30 p.m.
Police were dispatched to a larceny shoplifting at the 1700 block of South Main Street at 5:35 p.m.
Police were dispatched to a criminal damage at the 3200 block of North Kentucky Avenue at 7:51 p.m.
Police were dispatched to an aggravated battery with a knife at the 2600 block of North Kentucky Avenue.
Police were dispatched to a verbal domestic dispute at the 100 block of Military Heights Drive at 2 a.m.
Police were dispatched to a larceny shoplifting at the 1700 block of South Main Street at 8:55 a.m.
Police were dispatched to a non-forced burglary at the 2100 block of West Second Street at 9:11 a.m.
Police were dispatched to a battery at the 500 block of Greenbrier Drive at 3:20 p.m.
Police were dispatched to a report of fraud at the 400 block of West Sixth Street at 4:58 p.m.
Police were dispatched to a criminal damage at the 2800 block of North Elm Avenue at 5:43 p.m.
Police were dispatched to a verbal domestic dispute at the 1300 block of South Lea Avenue at 11: 35 p.m.
Police were dispatched to a found narcotics call at the 2000 block of West Alameda Street at 4:57 a.m.
Police were dispatched to an unattended death at the 1700 block of West Hendricks Street at 9:37 a.m.
Police were dispatched to a burglary by forced entry at the 1200 block of Mimosa Lane at 2:14 p.m.
Police were dispatched to a criminal damage at the 3100 block of North Richardson Avenue at 3:41 p.m.
Police were dispatched to a verbal domestic dispute at the 100 block of North Pennsylvania Avenue at 6:14 p.m.
Police were dispatched to an aggravated assault with a firearm against a family member at the 1700 block of West Alameda Street at 10:45 p.m.
Reporter’s note: This story has been edited for clarity.
At Thursday’s City Council meeting, PETA Director Brittany Peet came from Washington D.C. to approve the Spring River Park and Zoo master plan.
Alan Edmonds of the Animal Protection of New Mexico and shared his support while the agenda item was approved.
Jay Pratte of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium wrote the first report to PETA about dire straights of the zoo.
Pratte works for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and said the expressed views in his report on Spring River Zoo are his ideas alone for this consultation, without a correlation to the Omaha Zoo.
Jim Burress, Director of Parks and Recreation said Albuquerque Biological Park is joining together in a partnership between zoos to mutually provide enrichment for the animals.
More coverage of this meeting will appear in a later edition.
City reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at email@example.com.
Goddard track team has a new coach. It’s a familiar face to those around the program. Chris Deck was the throw’s coach before taking over the reigns of Dave Fredericks.
“I had been the throw’s coach,” Deck said. “It’s been really fun to put it all together now. We’re just getting going, these early season meets are about getting times on the kids and seeing where we’re at and start to build from here.”
Goddard has run in two varsity meets, and one junior varsity meet early in the season. Many folks think junior varsity track meets are for junior varsity, but a lot of times they are qualifiers for state. Sometimes varsity runners will run in a junior varsity meet to qualify for state.
What makes the job easier for Deck is he already has some qualifiers for state. Destiny Lawrence has already qualified in the 100-meter dash. Lawrence won the 200-meter last season. Coach Deck is trying to get her qualified for the 200-meter on Thursday’s meet or today at Lovington.
Goddard’s shot-putter John Flores has qualified in the shot put. Flores has thrown 51 feet, one-half inch in the Carlsbad meet, which has been the best throw in the state so far this season. Two-time defending state champion Bailey Beene has qualified in the javelin as well.
“Instead of being over there with the throwers,” Deck said. “I have to be everywhere now. It’s been a challenge, but it has been a fun challenge. Really piecing together all the different events, it’s been fun. I have a good staff that’s helping me. My assistant coaches are Chris Roybal, Ryan Green, Scott Austin and Ricardo Valenzuela. They do a great job helping, so I can be everywhere and piece this together.”
Deck is happy with his boys relay teams; they are mainly comprised of football players. Deck believes running track helps the football players become faster, stronger and more explosive on the field but also on the track.
“I know the football players come out here and grind hard every day,” Deck said. “I’ve got some good relays with the football players. With the boys, Goddard finished in the junior varsity meet in Artesia last week. And we were close to winning that. I’m looking forward to making a big, big push today. We have some pretty exciting freshmen boys.”
The track team is trying to find a girl’s relay team, and in the meet with Gateway, Artesia, and Roswell on Thursday and on Friday, they will experiment with different girls to find a relay team. Since basketball season is over with some of the players are starting to come out for the team.
For Thursday’s relay, Deck has some new girls coming out to run their first race. He would like to get times in the open and look at their relay. With three events behind them this season, Deck is using the regular season to build toward winning a district title this season.
“We don’t get great numbers for track,” Deck said. “But the kids we have are absolutely phenomenal. It is one of my goals here as the coach, to get more kids to come out for track and better themselves as athletes, get faster and jump higher for their sport.”
Today, Goddard travels to Lovington, as they will take schools from Texas, Alamogordo, Hobbs and Roswell. Deck is interested in seeing his kids compete against the best and see where they stack up. For his athletes who are at the top already, Deck wants to see them if they can continue to push themselves.
ARTESIA — Carlos Marrujo, head coach of the Roswell High baseball team said his team got off to a late start against Lovington Thursday in the opening round of the Bulldog Baseball Tournament in Artesia.
Lovington (1-5) shutout the Coyotes (1-5) 2-0 thanks to a four hit pitching performance by Fabian Cabello.
“They scored two early runs in the game and kind of put us back a little bit,” said Marrujo.
Senior Carlitos Montoya took the loss for the Coyotes as he gave up seven hits.
“He gives us a chance when he’s on the mound, we just got to help him and we’ve just got to play behind him and hit the ball,” he added.
The Coyotes also had two errors in the loss.
“We take those errors away and it’s a whole different ballgame in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings,” Marrujo said.
In the opening inning, a Roswell miscue allowed Lovington’s leadoff hitter JJ Valdez to reach first base. He later scored the first run of the game.
In the second inning, the Wildcats got a leadoff single from JJ Gutierrez. Montoya was able to settle down striking out two hitters and then the no. 9 batter grounded out.
In the third inning, Montoya struck out Valdez and then Marcos Hernandez reached first base on an error and then later scored on a single and RBI from Omar Garcia.
Montoya was able to keep the Wildcats in check for the rest of the contest.
Marrujo said the Coyotes need to work on the miscues and other things for the rest of the tournament.
“We’ve got to hit the ball a lot better, we’re hitting for contact still and we just need to hit with power and learn how to hit the ball hard and do what we know how to do and quit being practice players and be game players and figure it out here-to-there,” he added.
The loss moves the Coyotes to the consolation side of the bracket and today at 10 a.m. they will face Deming. The Wildcats were shelled by Belen Thursday afternoon 13-2.
Belen will play Lovington at 4 p.m. today on the winner’s side of the bracket and the 1 p.m. consolation round game will feature Los Alamos taking on Kirtland Central. The Hilltoppers were edged by Moriarty 7-6. The Pintos will play Artesia at 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs (4-3) and Kirtland Central (1-7) were involved in a slugfest Thursday as the strong winds also played a role in the game with the host team winning 11-8.
The Broncos scored three runs in the top of the first inning. The Bulldogs answered the call in the bottom of the frame scoring five runs.
Kirtland’s starting pitcher Cadan Flack looked like he was settling down in the second and third innings. The fourth was a different story as he was lifted for reliever Trystan Aspaas as both pitchers gave up three runs on two throwing errors.
In the top of the fourth, the Broncos scored four runs as Artesia’s starting pitcher Aaron Natera, a junior, was lifted for junior Favian Carrasco.
Artesia Head Coach J. J. Ortiz also brought in sophomore Garrett Thomas and junior JR Bustamante to shut down Kirtland Central.
In the fifth inning, Artesia was able to put some distance between them and the Broncos as junior shortstop Trent Taylor smacked a two-run double as the Bulldogs scored three runs.
Aspaas was the losing pitcher, while Thomas picked up the win and Bustamante got the save.
An annual event celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) at Mountain View Middle School made for a calculatedly exciting Tuesday night for students and families.
“We’ve been doing Math Night for more than seven years, but this is our third official Math Pi Night,” said Mountain View Middle School math teacher Kaharina Diaz, “National Pi Day is celebrated every March 14th, which is the same as the 3.14 that is used to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to it’s diameter.”
Diaz said every year, student visit the middle school play games that have a focus on math, science and the arts.
“In addition to that we go all over the community and ask for donations for our students,” she said. “Businesses from the community help us by donating items such as pizzas, pies, and gift cards for door prizes.”
Diaz said since can become so large, they tend to always have students from previous years come by to help, which has most recently included the Roswell High School Student Council.
“Everybody really comes together to help make STEAM Night a fun learning event for all our students,” Diaz said.
On Monday, March 12, 2018, Jesus called home Karen J. McDaniel, 62, of Roswell, New Mexico. A Meet & Greet will be held at Anderson Bethany Funeral Home on Saturday, March 17, 2018, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Celebrate Karen’s life by visiting www.andersonbethany.com to offer a memory or expression of sympathy for her family.
Karen was born to Billy Joe and Joyce Winchester on March 2, 1956, in Alamogordo, New Mexico. She married James Ray McDaniel on August 13, 1976, in Vaughn, New Mexico. They moved to Roswell in 1978, where together they raised two sons. Karen was widowed in 2003 and retired from Wal-Mart after twenty-six years in 2014.
Survivors include her two sons: Billy and wife, Elisha of Elephant Butte, New Mexico, Timothy and wife, Tia of Jacksonville, Florida; five grandchildren: Dakodah, Austin, Kalten, CJ, Reaann; three brothers: Joe and wife, Shirley Winchester of Los Lunas, New Mexico, Dickie Winchester of Roswell, New Mexico, Pat Winchester of Roswell, New Mexico; and best friends: Sharron and Francis Fulton.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and sister, Sherry Lynn Winchester.
Karen’s family lovingly wrote this tribute in her honor.
Sumiko went peacefully to her heavenly home Wednesday, March 14, 2018, we will all miss her beautiful smiley face.
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at www.lagronefuneralchapels.com.
I want to voice my support for the RPOA, and in the recent sign posted on Sycamore. In my opinion, we need to listen to those actively involved in protecting our city. I also think paying our police competitive wages and treating them as valuable assets to our city will increase the retention rate.
As far as the sign hurting economic development, I would think their sign has done more to bring to public attention a problem that severely limits our ability to attract new business as well as new families. I know if I were a businessman wanting to locate a new business, I would go online and look for a city with low poverty, low crime and quality education. Areavibes.com gives Roswell an “F” in both education and crime. Actually, in crime, we rank 77 percent above the national average, and in education, our test scores are 54 percent lower than the national average.
Both high crime rates and inferior education are a statewide problem. Being neither an educator nor a criminologist, I can only offer as a solution both the state and city use educators and criminologists to evaluate and recommend solutions.
I do think it is time for the citizens of Roswell to hold our elected officials responsible in solving our local crime issues. Also, as a state, we need to hold our state officials responsible for both our education and crime issues. As a state, we are the highest in childhood poverty, second highest in crime and second lowest in education. What we are doing is not working.