John W. Gray, 68, loving son, brother and friend, passed away at his home on August 11, 2017. Viewing will be Thursday, August 17, 2017, from 12 to 4 p.m. at Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home and Crematory. A graveside service will be Friday, August 18, 2017, at 11 a.m., at Woodbine Cemetery, Artesia, NM. Services will be officiated by Phil Grassie and Tim Arlett. A tribute of John’s life may be found at andersonbethany.com where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for his family.
John was born on October 12, 1948, to William D. Gray and Glyn Starling Gray in Artesia, NM. He graduated from high school with many awards and honors in FFA which led him to his lifelong career as a farmer and cattleman. From a very early age, John loved working with electric motors. He was a natural with all things ‘electric.’ Keeping all the motors on the family farm clean and working properly was his specialty.
International Farm Equipment was the brand of choice for John. His dad bought him an International 856 Diesel Tractor, Plow and Disk which he used for about two weeks before he became ill. Afterwards, John would longingly sit in the house and look out into the field at the tractor. That same tractor will carry John to his final resting place – being one of his many faithful friends.
John was a great encourager and supporter of his brother, Donald, who drove Peterbilt heavy haulers. He loved to buy Donald Peterbilt memorabilia. Donald’s last purchase was an International Winch Heavy Hauler Winch Truck which John called ‘Binder!’ Donald warmly remembers the contented smile on John’s face when he took what they both knew was his last ride in the truck.
Always involved with in his brother’s life, John’s mother would drive him onsite when Donald was a purchasing agent for an oil company. John would be onsite to watch Donald’s truck be unloaded into tanks and watch the LACT unit with its lights and switches that put the oil into the pipeline. John lovingly called Donald (in CD terms) a ‘Refinery Taxi’ along with the ‘Suicide Jockey of Eagle Creek.’
A faithful Methodist, John attended church until his health absolutely prevented it. John enjoyed spending his time watching westerns, TV and movies.
Preceding John in death are his parents: William D. (Bill) and Glyn S. Gray; grandparents: David N. and Lottie White Gray, John and Claudia Starling; second cousin, Eddie Houston, Midland, TX; pets: Saint, Moose, George (all Saint Bernards), and Rocky (German Shephard/Rottweiler).
Those surviving to cherish the memory of John are: his brother, Donald Gray of the family farm; niece, Laverne Keahy of AR; nephew, Tom Burk of Texarkana, AR, niece, LaRita Spruell of Bradley, AR; second cousins: Patty and Dody Nunez of Tucumcari, NM, Cindy and Frank Ramos of Las Cruces, NM, Bryan Houston and Cheri of Hobbs, NM, Bob and wife Houston of Hobbs, NM, David and wife Houston of Houston, TX; third cousins: Kayla Wood of Tucumcari, NM, Chelsie Nelson of Tucumcari, NM, Carrie Houston of Hobbs, NM, Samantha Houston of Hobbs, NM, and Robert Houston of Hobbs, NM.
Honorary pallbearers are: Marvin and Beth Bramblett, Loren and Freda Sanders and Morgan Nelson.
Chosen to serve as Pallbearers are: John Jackson, Dustin Devenport, Bryan Houston and Bob Houston.
Special Thank You to Care Givers – Dora, Belem, Tina, Anabel and Lucy.
The family requests that donations be made to the Humane Society in memory of John W. Gray in lieu of flowers.
John W. Gray, 68, loving son, brother and friend, passed away at his home on August 11, 2017. Viewing will be Thursday, August 17, 2017, from 12 to 4 p.m. at Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home and Crematory. A graveside service will be Friday, August 18, 2017, at 11 a.m., at Woodbine Cemetery, Artesia, NM. Services will be officiated by Phil Grassie and Tim Arlett. A tribute of John’s life may be found at andersonbethany.com where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for his family.
Ramon G. Ramirez (also known as Albert) of Roswell, NM, age 62, passed away Saturday, August 12, 2017 in Lubbock, TX.
Ramon was born October 9, 1954 to Juan B. Ramirez and Concepion Gonzales in Aldama Herrera, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Ramon was a very special and kind man. He enjoyed being at family gatherings and spending time with his friends. He loved watching football and especially when his Dallas Cowboys played. He loved drinking his Bud Light.
Ramon is survived by his soul companion Corine Gonzales of 32 years. Ramon had two brothers Eloy and Martin Ramirez from Juarez, Chihuahua Mexico; six sisters Guadalupe R. Martinez, husband Pedro, Josefina R. Herrera , Adolfol Rocio R. Flores Jorge from Chihuahua Mexico, Leticia Ramirez, Eddie Magahey R. Gonzales, Julio from Lubbock Tx and Bertha Ramirez of Roswell NM. Ramon had a very special nephew Berhave Ramirez; a very special step great granddaughter Aliyha Jaramillo and his pet Chihuahua (Chickita) of 18 years.
The family would like to give a big thank you to UMC in Lubbock, TX, and to their staff. May God bless you.
A viewing will be held at Ballard Funeral Home on Friday, August 18, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a Rosary to be recited in the Ballard Chapel at 6 p.m. Visitation will continue Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a funeral service to be held in the Ballard Chapel at 2 p.m.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneralhome.com.
God saw you were getting tired,
And a cure was not to be.
So he put his arms around you,
And whispered, “Come, and go with me.”
With tearful eyes we watched you suffer,
And saw you fade away.
Although we loved you dearly,
We could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands to rest.
God broke our hearts to prove,
He only takes the best.
It’s lonesome here without you.
We miss you more each day.
Life doesn’t seem the same
Since you have gone away.
When days are sad and lonely,
We seem to hear your whisper,
“Cheer up and carry on.”
Each time we see your picture,
You seem to smile and say,
“Don’t cry, I’m in God’s hands,
We’ll meet again someday.”
The Zuni Show 2017 takes place at the Scottish Rite Temple, Aug. 19, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Zuni is the largest of the pueblos in New Mexico and most of the Zunis’ income is from the sale of their artwork. This second annual show expands exposure to the public, and once again artists will receive 100 percent of the proceeds from their sales. This is a fair trade event. Ethnographic films from 1924 depicting the Zunis’ past will be screened continually in the auditorium of the Scottish Rite facility. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, call Robin Dunlap at 505-660-0981 or visit TheKeshiFoundation.org.
Ongoing until Jan. 21
‘Quilts of Southwest China’ coming to Santa Fe
The Museum of International Folk Art will host the national touring exhibition “Quilts of Southwest China,” beginning July 9 through Jan. 21, 2018. While both highly-valued and culturally significant, Chinese quilts have received little attention from scholars, collectors, and museums and little is known about them outside of the communities that make them. They embody layers of history, identity, expertise, and culture. MIFA is located at 706 Camino Lejo. For more information, visit internationalfolkart.org or call 505-476-1200.
Ongoing until Sept. 25
Owls in the Land of Enchantment
Revered and feared in folklore, owls are found throughout New Mexico. From open desert to mountain forest, these powerful hunters have evolved extraordinary senses to pinpoint their prey. For a limited engagement, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, 1801 Mountain Road NW, reveals this world in the Owls in the Land of Enchantment exhibition. For more information, call 505-841-2800.
Ongoing until Sept. 30
The Carlsbad Museum & Art Center, 418 W. Fox St., presents “Childhood Classics,” 100 years of original art from the Art Kandy Collection, including the study for “The Cat In The Hat” by Dr. Seuss. Entry is free. For more information, call 575-887-0276.
Ongoing until Sept. 30
Carrizozo Gallery competition
The Tularosa Basin Gallery of Photography, 401 12th St., hosts New Mexico Magazine’s 16th annual Photography Competition Winners. For more information, call 575-937-1489.
Ongoing until Nov. 5
“The Beauty in Energy”
“The Beauty in Energy” is a new photography exhibit of oil and gas landscapes at the Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame, 1 Thunderbird Circle. The photographer, Bob Callender, is an internationally-recognized oilfield photographer. For more information, call 575-492-2678.
Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone are performing at the Spencer Theater, 108 Spencer Dr., at 8 p.m. British stage, screen and recording star Peter Noone headlines the internationally renowned Herman’s Hermits in concert, singing the legendary ‘60s pop band’s broad palette of hits including “I’m Into Something Good,” “Just A Little Bit Better” and “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter.” Herman’s Hermits was a major player in the legendary British music invasion of the era and ultimately sold over 60 million recordings. In all, 14 singles and seven albums went gold. The Hermits were twice named Cashbox’s “Entertainer of the Year” and the photogenic Noone, voted the sexiest of all, graced the cover of nearly every international publication, including Time Magazine. For tickets and more information, call 575-336-4800 or visit spencertheater.com.
New Mexico Flavor Fest
The New Mexico Flavor Fest takes place at the Eagle Creek Sports Complex, 500 W. New Mexico Road 523, on Saturday and Sunday. This is an exclusive outdoor craft beer, wine and art event nestled in the cool pines of Ruidoso. There are 40 award-winning New Mexico beers and wines to taste, authentic dishes, green chile burgers and food trucks. Award winning musicians and artists are going to perform, such as The Red Light Cameras, who have won numerous awards such as Best Band In Albuquerque 2015, CW Ayon, who was recently featured on the cover of Las Cruces Magazine and has a long list of accomplishments, as well as the newly formed CW Ayon Trio, + Seek the Fire, Homegrown Boyz and solo artists Tradd Tidwell, Delaney Davis, Malachi Martin, DJ RANDEE and B FRESH. There will also be $500 body art contests Saturday night and fashion shows on Sunday. Jordan Torres is going to demonstrate his live sculpting and displaying his famous artwork. Day passes start at $25 and weekend passes range from $30-$75. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit nmflavorfest.com.
Steve Kern in concert
Steve Kern from St. Louis, Missouri, is performing on the new patio at the Adobe Rose Restaurant, 1614 N. 13th St. For more information, visit adoberoserestaurant.com or call 575-746-6157.
Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder in concert
Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder are performing at the Spencer Theater, 108 Spencer Dr., at 8 p.m. The career of 14-time Grammy Award winner Ricky Skaggs is among the most significant in recent country music history. Among his many statuettes and honors are 12 No. 1 hit singles, scores of Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year awards, International Bluegrass Association and Dove awards, induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame and an Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award. And that’s just naming a few of his distinctions. He was credited by Chet Atkins as “single-handedly” saving country music from the onslaught of ‘80s commercialization, leading the way in the neo-traditional music movement. He is a true virtuoso whose path has led him from bluegrass to country and gospel, to deep roots mountain music. Skaggs and his award-winning band Kentucky Thunder return to the Spencer stage in a performance packed with his greatest hits, beautifully blended vocals and blazing fast instrumentals. The evening’s all-star lineup features Skaggs (mandolin), Paul Brewster (tenor vocals, rhythm guitar), Scott Mulvahill (bass, bass vocals), Russ Carson (banjo), Jake Workman (lead guitar), Mike Barnett (fiddle) and Dennis Parker (baritone vocals, guitar). For tickets and more information, call 575-336-4800 or visit spencertheater.com.
“Lucia di Lammermoor”
Last chance to see Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” at the Santa Fe Opera. Beauty and darkness collide in this bel canto masterpiece. The opera is sung in Italian with subtitles in English and Spanish. This is a new Santa Fe Opera Production. The opera is located at 301 Opera Drive. For more information and tickets, visit santafeopera.org or call its box office at 800-280-4654.
JD and the Badlands in concert
The local band JD and the Badlands are performing on the new patio at the Adobe Rose Restaurant, 1614 N. 13th St. For more information, visit adoberoserestaurant.com or call 575-746-6157.
San Jose 52 Family Fair
The San Jose Catholic Church Carlsbad, 1002 De Bace St., is hosting its San Jose 52 Family fair. Doors open on Aug. 25 at noon and on Aug. 26 at 11 a.m. Music will be provided by Michael Salgado and La Sombra. For more information, call 575-885-5792.
Holloman Air Force Base opens its doors for its annual German Oktoberfest. This year the annual fest is held for the 21st time. Next to typical German specialties and beer, there will be entertainment and music by the Bavarian band The Pressather Musikanten. For more information and tickets visit the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce or call 575-572-2601.
Red Dirt Black Gold Festival
The free all-day festival takes place downtown Artesia and celebrates the oil and gas industry. This year’s concert lineup is as follows: Whiskey Myers, Bri Bagwell, Dalton Domino, The Statesboro Revue and Callahan Divide. For more information, visit artesiaacd.com or call 575-746-4212.
Shane Rogers Band
The Shane Rogers Band from Lubbock is performing on the new patio at the Adobe Rose Restaurant, 1614 N. 13th St. For more information, visit adoberoserestaurant.com or call 575-746-6157.
Thank you, Roswell Indivisible, for your show of support for the victims and people of Charlottesville at Monday night’s vigil. Full disclosure: I am a member of that group, but was unable to attend Monday night’s vigil. I was with them in spirit.
Roswell Indivisible is a group that opposes hate and the politics of hate, in all its forms, in today’s divided and divisive society. If you are interested in joining that effort, find Roswell Indivisible on Facebook or Twitter (@RoswellIndivis) or email for more information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kudos also (just this once) to Attorney General Jeff Sessions for calling the horrible occurrence in Charlottesville what it is: domestic terrorism. We are quick to demand our leaders call things “radical Islamic terrorism” but are reluctant to call domestic terrorism by its true name. Even when the terrorist act is by American muslims, it is called Islamic terrorism, as the incident in San Bernadino was labeled, though “domestic terrorism” would have been more accurate. We don’t call the shooting of a doctor by an anti-abortion Christian “radical Christian terrorism,” even though that is what it is. Words matter.
But terrorism is terrorism, so maybe we should drop all the words describing who did it and focus more on stopping all terrorism. Do your part. Show appreciation and acceptance for people who are different from you. That would be a good start. Show courage and when you hear others speaking with hate of a group of people, speak up and contradict them. Show understanding, not condemnation, for people who act or believe differently from you. Like the New Agers say, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Like Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Stop hate!
I was pleased to read in the Aug. 8 edition of the RDR that the Roswell City Council wisely turned down an offer from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). That organization offered to improve the cougar enclosure at our zoo in exchange for sending our bears to an animal sanctuary.
In recent years, we have been hearing of increasingly militant animal rights organizations trying to force their ideas of morality on everyone else. Some of these groups were required to pay settlements to Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus because of harassing lawsuits. Reportedly, those animal rights organizations are making zoos their next target.
However well-intentioned those groups might be, we must never make the mistake of trying to endow animals with the same rights as people. If we look in Genesis 1, we find that God created people with souls and gave them dominion over the earth. The earth was made for man, not vice versa. Notice we were to care for his creation and not to use it wantonly. Nowhere does he endow animals with rights. If we allow animals to have human rights, it will only be a matter of time before we find people insisting that plants and even minerals have rights.
Some sects of Hinduism practice a belief called “ahimsa” in which people are not to harm animals. Some of them even conclude that they must not harm plants either, and they starve themselves to death.
When we wander away from the word of God, many foolish ideas begin to sound sensible. Among those are abortion, euthanasia, slavery, suicide, accepting LGBT activities as normal, macroevolution and animal rights.
Some will say, “Russ Scott wants to force his religious beliefs on everyone else.” The fact is, every law ever written was an attempt by some group to force their ideas of morality on everyone else. PETA certainly wishes to force their values on everyone else. The question is, “Whose morality do you want to impose on everyone else?”
Notice I am not promoting license to abuse animals or plants. I favor careful, sustained use.
Russell A. Scott
New Mexico has a chance to change school buses from the polluting ones we now have to electric due to the award from Volkswagen.
There will be a public meeting at the Roswell Public Library on August 17, from noon to 1:30 p.m. All Roswellites and concerned parents are invited to attend. It is sponsored by Conservation Voters of New Mexico.
Our kids deserve clean air.
Actress pleads for city to release zoo’s bears; Roswell leaders invite Ali MacGraw to tour Spring River Park & Zoo
An Academy Award-nominated actress has stepped into the fray over the Spring River Park & Zoo, imploring the city to release its two sister black bears into a wildlife sanctuary.
In a letter to the director of Roswell’s Parks & Recreation Department to be delivered today, Ali MacGraw said the zoo’s bears and mountain lions deserve to retire in a natural setting.
“As a New Mexico resident, I was saddened to learn from my friends at PETA that the city of Roswell is confining bears and mountain lions to cramped concrete pits at the Spring River Park & Zoo,” wrote MacGraw, 78, an actress, model, author and animal rights activist who was voted the top female box office star in the world in 1972.
“I urge you to release the bears Sierra and Ursula into reputable, naturalistic sanctuaries where they can live with rich environmental stimulation, and I hope you’ll consider doing the same for the mountain lions — rather than simply upgrading their enclosure at some point in the future, as you have claimed to be working on. These intelligent animals are far-ranging and need vast spaces in which to roam, climb and engage in other species-specific behavior.”
In a news release to be issued today, PETA said the zoo’s two mountain lions remain obese and the zoo’s two bears are suffering from hair loss. PETA said they “are just some of the animals suffering today at the rundown Spring River Park & Zoo, which is operated by the city of Roswell, and Academy Award nominee Ali MacGraw has run out of patience.”
PETA, whose motto reads in part that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” said it has helped to move dozens of captive bears to reputable sanctuaries.
“In the last few years, several small zoos have chosen to release bears from concrete pits into such sanctuaries, and I’d be thrilled to be able to congratulate the city of Roswell on making the same compassionate decision,” MacGraw continued. “Won’t you please retire them to an appropriate facility like The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, where they could live in a far more natural environment? It would mean the world to me and — more importantly —to these animals, who deserve better. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.”
In response to MacGraw’s plea, City Manager Joe Neeb invited MacGraw to visit the zoo and to be part of upcoming master planning discussions for the zoo.
“I did not know that she was a New Mexico resident, so that’s nice to know,” Neeb said Tuesday. “I would invite her to come visit us in Roswell because I believe that she has some concerns. I’m not sure if she has seen these firsthand. It doesn’t sound like it from her letter. But we would invite her to come out, participate in some of the public meetings that we will be having in order to establish a master plan for the zoo, and actually be a partner with us, rather than feeling like this is an adversarial situation. We accept all voices. It would be great, it would be.”
Mayor Dennis Kintigh also said he would welcome a zoo visit by MacGraw.
“I would be happy to give her a tour of the zoo,” Kintigh said. “We’re trying to do the right things. Nothing happens fast in government.”
Kintigh said Neeb has been city manager since April, zoo superintendent Marge Woods has been in charge of the zoo for a few months, and the Parks & Recreation Department also has a new director.
“We’re dealing with a lot of issues here and we want to do this right, we really do,” Kintigh said. “All we’re asking is a chance to take a deep breath, look at this and to get it right. That’s all we’re asking.”
On April 13, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation, with whom MacGraw has been a longtime supporter, offered the city $10,000 on behalf of an anonymous benefactor for the city to build a new, naturalistic mountain lion exhibit, in exchange for the city releasing the 4-and-a-half-year-old sister black bears, Sierra and Ursula, into a reputable animal sanctuary.
On April 20, City Attorney Aaron Holloman replied, saying the city needed more time to consider the offer from the world’s largest animal rights organization.
“A reputable sanctuary will have the financial resources and expertise to care for them properly in a naturalistic environment, where they’d finally have the opportunity to engage in normal behavior, such as roaming, foraging and denning,” PETA’s John Di Leonardo wrote in an Aug. 10 letter to Kintigh.
PETA has been critical of the city’s zoo, saying the accommodations, particularly for its large animals, are inadequate and are driving the bears, mountain lions, bobcats and a coyote insane. PETA says some of the zoo’s 136 animals are languishing in barren, sterile environments and continue to display neurotic behavior, repeatedly pacing back and forth in extreme distress and frustration.
“While the zoo infrastructure is aged, it has been subject to ongoing, regular inspections by the USDA and the zoo continues to operate without incident under that supervision,” Holloman wrote PETA on Aug. 2. “Our animals have been provided scheduled checkups without incident under that supervision. Our animals have been provided scheduled checkups by certified veterinarians. All have received a clean bill of health. Roswell understands its responsibilities concerning the care and protection of these animals. It is our goal to improve and enhance their lives with us.”
PETA said city assertions that the zoo is in great shape and that the animals have received a clean bill of health is contradicted by the zoo’s own records, including citations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“These include a repeat violation that was assessed this year for ‘failing to have a sufficient number of trained zookeepers with experience in proper animal husbandry,'” Di Leonardo wrote Kintigh. “This serious violation is extremely concerning and is a red flag about basic problems with animals care at Spring River.
“As recently as May, the mountain lions apparently escaped from their enclosure into a waterfall pump area, breaking a lightbulb and chewing on pipe. Zoo records also show that the mountain lions have recently had issues with their weight, that the bears have had issues with their coats, and that environmental enrichment for both the bears and the big cats is critically insufficient. It’s little wonder that the bears continue to display stereotypic or neurotic behavior.”
Early this month, the city turned down a $10,000 donation from PETA to build a new mountain lion exhibit at the zoo, saying a wider overhaul of the zoo was needed after a thorough study. PETA offered to pay all costs associated with the transfer of two black bears to a reputable animal sanctuary.
City Attorney Aaron Holloman replied to PETA on Aug. 2, saying the city needed more time to consider PETA’s offer.
“If PETA is unable to wait for a more detailed formal response, the city will have to decline the offer,” Holloman wrote. “While a donation to the tentative cougar exhibit is appreciated, there are no council-approved or definitive plans that the construction of the new exhibit will occur in the near future, since such an expansion has become a key part in a more global planning initiative about the future development of the Spring River Park and Zoo.”
Neeb also said the city needed more time to consider PETA’s offer.
“The only reason we declined it was because we were considering the offer, but we wanted, of course, to go through some of this master planning process as far as what the zoo is to the community and everything,” Neeb said. “We were requested last time that they needed an answer by Aug. 2, so we provided that response.”
Neeb said communications from multiple persons from PETA has made negotiations more difficult.
“We’re not even talking to the same person from PETA,” he said. “We’ve had three different people contact us from PETA, and now we have Ms. MacGraw. They send an email to the mayor and it is one person. Two months later, they send another letter, but it’s another person. And then another month later, they send another letter from another person. So we’re not even certain who we’re trying to work with with PETA in order to have a conversation or a dialogue. I think they’re probably happy that we’re having a dialogue. I think they want to continue having a dialogue, but again, their goal is a little different than what the city’s goal is.
“I believe that whoever these people are from PETA that we’re talking with, again they keep changing faces on us a little bit, they want to have the dialogue. And I think that’s what keeps the movement on this.”
PETA has criticized the Spring River Park & Zoo as a roadside zoo, a zoo with collections of animals in cages used to lure passing motorists to stop and see, feed or play with the animals.
The city zoo currently has no visitor fees.
“I am disappointed in the use of the term ‘roadside zoo.’ This is an exaggerated term to further the goals of the organization,” Neeb said. “I think that’s their impression of our community zoo. I don’t agree with that definition. The information being shared by them does not show the full story.”
Neeb said the City Council has expressed an interest in hiring a zoo consultant, and public meetings for a zoo master plan should begin in a couple of months.
“When we discussed it with the City Council, the City Council asked that we go ahead and bring in a professional consultant that has the knowledge of zoos, has the knowledge of what this service is,” Neeb said. “So, I believe we’re going to be establishing before October a request for professional services and see if we can find somebody that can help come in, facilitate the public meetings, help coordinate all of the information we’ll be able to gather through this process, and then to help us establish that long-term plan as to where we want to take the Spring River Park & Zoo. That came from the City Council.
“So, we’re going to get this master plan started. I still believe we’re going to have the process started by mid-October at the latest. Staff is already working on a lot of different pieces that we need to do as well. But the true process will start sometime mid-October.”
Di Leonardo said in the Aug. 10 letter to Kintigh that PETA wants to continue the dialogue and that its $10,000 offer stands.
“We were glad to read that you want to engage in dialogue with us, and we’d like to take you up on that offer and schedule a meeting,” Di Leonardo said. “Will you please let us know your availability? Our offer remains on the table.”
Editor Jeff Tucker may be contacted at 575-622-7710, ext. 303, or at email@example.com.
The word “courage” comes from the French word for heart. When a person feels loved, it’s easier for them to find their courage. Don Ford could help anyone find their heart and put it to good use.
A longtime firefighter, Ford passed away Aug. 9 at the age of 61. His wife of 42 years, Ruth Ann, recalled when she met him and how he helped her find her courage.
“Don’s family took in strays,” she said. “I was a stray. I had no place to stay, but I had a job. My mother called them and they took me in. That was Oct. 1, 1973. He asked me to marry him a month later. I said yes in December. We got married Nov. 9, 1974.”
Don and Ruth Anne raised six kids of their own, and helped countless other kids come along, too.
“So many of our friends called him dad because he constantly made them feel like they were one of us,” said eldest daughter Elaine Gadbury, “and not just a kid off the street. He had a way of making everybody feel special.”
Having considered herself a stray, upon entering the Ford family, Ruth Ann taught her children to use the word in a loving sense.
“Our first stray was a woman with multiple personalities,” Elaine said. “They took care of her and made sure that everything was taken care of for her.”
His son Matt said 1989 was the first year they brought in strays.
“I had a friend in high school who moved in my sophomore year in 2007,” said youngest daughter Brittney Rubio. “She just moved out a couple of months ago.”
Don was a hard worker from the beginning. He owned three businesses over the years, retired from the Roswell Fire Department and didn’t slow down until he had to.
His mother said that when he was 15, his dad was in Vietnam, and he told her, ‘I’m the man now, Mama, and I’m getting a job.’ She told him he was too young. The next time his dad called, Don asked him, ‘Tell Mom that I’m a man and can get a job now.’ Don soon started working.
Son, Aaron Ford, known for looking just like Don, remembered his father’s generosity from a unique space.
“We worked wild land fires together,” Aaron said. “We also did private contracting and firefighting with his own firetruck. The first fire I ever went on with him was in 2002. We took a big structure truck up to the Hondo area. We made a lot of memories. I would go on long road trips with him, go fight fires with him. I got to see a different side of him that a lot of people didn’t get to see.”
Aaron watched his dad turn stranger after stranger into a friend.
“Words are hard to explain what a great man my father was,” Aaron said, “but once you met him, you got it. He would sit down and talk with you like you were his best friend. He’d talk with you like he’d known you for years. He always seemed to know who needed that. He was the first person people called when they had questions or needed help.”
He had his own way of connecting with people. Matt told a story about his father that no one else had known until recently.
“Dad went and visited another retired firefighter who was in the hospital in a coma,” Matt said. “He had to pay his friend back for something, so while he was there, he painted his friend’s toenails pink so that when he woke up from the coma, he’d ask what happened and someone could tell him, ‘Don came to see you.’”
He had a standard joke that they all seemed to secretly wait for him to do.
“At Peter Piper Pizza, he would connect a bunch of straws to reach across the table to drink from a pitcher of beer or someone else’s drink. Then he’d tell us we’re drinking too much.”
His wife was no safer than anybody else when Don had hi-jinx on his mind.
“One day I was in a hurry,” she said. “I went straight from Peter Piper Pizza to Claire’s out at the mall. I opened up my purse to pay, and here’s the hot pepper shaker, the cheese shaker and straws right on top.”
The man had a gusto for life and a love for people.
“We’re talking about a man who knew everyone,” Matt said. “He was late to everything because he couldn’t go anywhere without someone wanting to talk to him. He’d go to the store to get milk. Three hours later, we’d call him and ask, ‘Dad, where are you?’ He’d say, ‘I ran into so and so, then I had to push this lady’s car out of the street and someone needed gas, so I got them some.’”
Ruth Ann knew how to handle her husband’s gregarious nature.
“I got to where I took a portable chair to the fair,” she said. “He’d stop and talk with so many people; and I couldn’t stand for that long at a time.”
At Roswell High School, he worked with students that nobody else could reach.
“His first day at Roswell High, he was stabbed in the hand with a pencil,” Ruth Ann said. “It didn’t stop him. At first he was doing the alternative site, then he started working with the special needs kids. So many people have come up to him and said if he hadn’t helped them, they wouldn’t have graduated.”
His encouraging spirit still lives in his legacy at Sierra Volunteer Fire Department. One of his strays, Cecilia Carrasco, spoke about her experiences and how his legacy has affected her life.
“I’ve known Don for the past 10 years,” Carrasco said, “right after high school. The Ford family brought me out here. I spoke with Chief and he said, ‘If you want to try it, we’ll do some training. If you think you can handle it, we’ll go from there.’ He’s always had answers.
“He’s always a father figure to everybody. We all started out young, outside of your parents and family, you had this place and it became your second home. What things you wouldn’t go to your parents for, he would be there. He would guide us through the good times and the bad times.”
Carrasco knows his legacy is in good hands.
“Now putting all this together for him and teaching the rookies how he did it,” she said. “The more people we bring out and the more people we train is how we’re going to honor Chief. He kept telling us, ‘Whatever you go through, whoever you lose, keep getting back on the trucks.’”
Carrasco had one request of the community.
“Everyone keep the Ford family in your hearts and prayers.”
Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roswell Daily Record Publisher Barbara Beck and Editor Jeff Tucker announce that Misty Choy has been promoted to managing editor.
Choy, formerly an editorial assistant and projects editor at RDR, began working for the Daily Record in September 2015.
In her new position, which she began Aug. 10, Choy, 45, is second in charge of the editorial department, responsible for management of personnel and assignments along with Tucker.
“I would like to welcome Misty Choy as managing editor for the Roswell Daily Record,” Beck said. “Misty is an invaluable member of the newsroom staff and has demonstrated leadership qualities that have led to our decision to promote her to the position of managing editor for the Roswell Daily Record. She will be second in command of the newsroom and first in charge when Editor Jeff Tucker is not available.”
Tucker said Choy is an essential resource in the editorial department and already greatly assists in the day-to-day management of the newsroom and the newspaper’s content.
“I’m so proud of Misty and her hard work,” Tucker said. “She’s by my side every day. Now, she just has the appropriate title.”
Choy will remain the Daily Record’s opinion page editor, one of its copy editors, and continue to design pages, including special sections. Choy said she will also report on local news as available.
Choy said her love of journalism began at her high school newspaper. She continued her career in journalism at college in Tyler, Texas, where she served as photo editor for the college’s newspaper, graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in journalism.
Her first job at a newspaper was with the Tyler Morning Telegraph as a sports brief writer. She moved over to the advertising side, designing retail ads once she graduated. She was with the Tyler Morning Telegraph for two years.
“Throughout my career, I’ve worked for a small magazine designing and laying out pages, also working freelance, designing business cards, fliers, various other desktop publishing and editing manuscripts,” Choy said. “I’m honored to work with such a great team and I’m thankful for all of those who have mentored me throughout my career.”
Choy has also worked part time at Community News Exchange for almost two years, editing and transmitting stories to newspapers across the state.
A Capitan woman and former manager of a childcare center owned by the Mescalero Apache Tribe has pleaded guilty in federal court to a theft of government money, converting more than $400,000 in meal reimbursement checks for her own use.
Gina McPherson, 49, was the manager of the Team Members Childcare Center at the Inn of the Mountain Gods from March 2011 through December 2015 when she resigned, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
On May 1, McPherson was arrested and charged with theft of public money.
According to her criminal complaint, McPherson began the theft seven months after she began managing the childcare center in 2011.
Throughout her time as manager, McPherson enrolled TMCC into the Child and Adult Food Care Program, a federal program that enables qualifying childcare centers to provide meals to children from eligible families free of charge.
The meal reimbursement checks are disbursed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Within a few months of McPherson’s resignation, Inn of the Mountain Gods’ management became aware that their childcare center was not receiving meal reimbursement funds from the CACFP. However, records showed that funds had been disbursed to the center since August 2011.
The criminal complaint said further investigation revealed the state of New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, which administers the food program, paid over $400,000 to McPherson for TMCC meals from August 2011 through January 2016.
During Monday’s proceedings, McPherson pleaded guilty to theft of government money. In entering the guilty plea, McPherson admitted that while she was employed by the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Mescalero, she stole more than $400,000 in federal funds that were intended as reimbursement for meals consumed by children attending the daycare program.
McPherson also admitted she enrolled the daycare attendees in a meal reimbursement program without approval from IMG management.
McPherson faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison when sentenced, though a sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.
A Carlsbad man was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison after law enforcement agents located more than 200 grams of heroin, 30 grams of crack cocaine, 100 grams of marijuana and $15,000 inside the man’s storage unit.
Sylvester Hall, 55, was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to 120 months in prison followed by four years of supervised release for his heroin and crack cocaine trafficking conviction.
Hall, described as a career offender, has a criminal history that includes at least three prior drug trafficking convictions, according to a news release from New Mexico’s U.S. Department of Justice.
Hall was prosecuted under a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution.
Under the 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 New Mexico communities.
Hall was arrested on March 12, 2015, on a criminal complaint that alleged heroin and crack cocaine trafficking offenses. According to the complaint, law enforcement agents located about 213.64 grams of heroin, 31.7 grams of crack cocaine, 100.7 grams of marijuana and $15,080.26 in cash inside a storage unit owned by Hall.
Hall was later indicted on July 23, 2015, and charged with possession of heroin and crack cocaine with intent to distribute. According to the indictment, the offenses were committed on Feb. 10, 2015, in Eddy County.
Hall pleaded guilty to the indictment on Nov. 10, 2016, without the benefit of a plea agreement.
This case was investigated by the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force, comprised of officers from the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office and the Carlsbad and Artesia police departments.
The Roswell Coyotes and Hobbs Eagles, two playoff teams that lost a bunch of talent from last season, began the 2017 campaign Tuesday at Cielo Grande, where it took a late goal during double overtime for the home squad to pick up the first win of the season.
Tied at 1-all, with just a few minutes remaining in the second extra 10-minute period, senior forward Robert Madrid received a pinpoint pass on a kickoff from sophomore midfielder Samuel Calvillo and then lobbed the ball over the Hobbs goalkeeper for the game-winner.
Roswell head soccer coach James Vernon said he was proud of his squad for sticking with it and finishing the game.
“It was a team effort. We didn’t look as sharp as we usually do, but have a lot to work on,” he said. “Maybe this will set the tone for the next game against these guys on Saturday.”
With more time to prepare, and a win under their belts, Vernon thinks his team will look better in Hobbs this weekend.
“We’ve been in school for four days pretty much, and this was a hard one, not having a lot of time to get practices in, but I’ll take a win any day,” he said. “I thought we had a lot of chances, more than they did at certain times, and we have to learn how to put those away.”
The Coyotes outshot the Eagles by a decent margin, and held the lead for about five minutes in the second half after sophomore Eduardo Moya’s goal, but Hobbs’ Alan Sanchez tied it with about 4:30 left in regulation.
Vernon said senior goalkeeper Tony Carrasco played a good game and can’t be faulted much for giving up the goal.
“Tony made good decisions today,” he said. “On the goal, we didn’t close down defensively and that guy hit a rocket. It was like a Mesquita shot.”
Vernon was speaking of former Coyote soccer and basketball player Chris Mesquita, who scored the winning goal in the 2013 state championship game as a freshman and signed up to play college soccer at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales after the 2016 season.
“It’s not just Mesquita, either,” Vernon said. “We lost 13 seniors from last season. We were a sharp team that could really control the ball and that’s what we’re working up to with these guys. Step by step, we want to keep improving, like we did from the first half to the second half today. We’ll just keep battling.”
The Coyotes face the Eagles again on Saturday in Hobbs at 1 p.m.
The ladies soccer squads from Roswell and Goddard high schools will compete in the Alien City Invite this Friday and Saturday. Both teams are scheduled to play at 5 p.m. Friday. RHS will take on Silver and GHS will face Ruidoso.
Ramon (Ray) Claire Farley, age 82, passed away on August 4, 2017, at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll, Iowa. He was attending a celebration of his hometown of Glidden, Iowa’s 150 year anniversary. He was born on May 3, 1935 in Carroll County, Iowa to Chester (Chet) and Doris (Luke) Farley.
He grew up in Glidden, Iowa, graduating form Glidden High School in 1953. After high school he attended college at Barrington College in Providence, Rhode Island, Taylor University in Upland, Indiana where he received a degree in secondary education.
Ray married Frances (Fran) Ritchel in 1956 in Fairfield, Connecticut after meeting in the summer of 1955 while working at Word of Life Summer Camp in Schroon Lake, New York. They were happily married for 61 years.
He began teaching, administration and coaching career in Marion and Peru, Indiana where he worked for 20 years. During that time he received a Master’s Degree in Education from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and pursued doctoral studies in education.
Ray and Fran then moved to Roswell, New Mexico, where he taught and served as the head of the Science Department at Roswell High School for another 20 years. He retired in 1997 after 40 years of teaching and coaching.
He enjoyed more than anything else spending time with his four grandsons every summer as they grew up. Between Family Camp at Bonita Park and summer road trips in the RV they all developed a bond with each other that remains unbroken.
Kevin Farley is his first grandson. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he played lacrosse and was Captain of a champion Navy Cycling Team. He is a Navy Fighter Pilot. He and Grandpa Ray shared love for all things mechanical, hard work, and ice cream. Their work and witness trip to Peru together was a highlight of their lives.
Brian Farley is Ray’s second grandson and is a graduate of the University of California, where he was a three-year letterman and staring offensive lineman for the Golden Bears, he also played lacrosse at Cal. He and his grandpa shared a deep appreciation of football and lacrosse, the outdoors, history, and good food. Brian loved his summers with his Grandpa.
Mitchell McCleery is the third grandson. Mitchell is a graduate of Full Sail University with a degree in Computer Animation. Mitchell loved taking trips with his grandparents in their RV. Grandpa loved to see all of Mitchell’s computer projects and was amazed by his talent. Mitchell recently taught Grandpa how to play Virtual Reality (VR) video games.
Lucas (Luke) McCleery is No. 4. Being the youngest grandson, his Grandpa held on to him even tighter than the rest. Grandpa traveled from Roswell to Fort Worth last fall to all but two of Luke’s football games – including his State Championship victory. Luke enjoyed summer trips with his grandparents and loved attending Family Camp. Luke is attending and playing football at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Ray was a member of the First Church of Nazarene in Roswell, New Mexico. Ray was exceptionally active in his church. He taught Sunday School, served in various church leadership positions, and became the primary facility maintenance expert for the church. In addition, Ray was faithfully active in the missions aspect of the Church of the Nazarene. Over the course of his life he organized and participated in over 20 work and witness trips to help build facilities for missionaries on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. His last trip was in 2016. He also was extraordinarily active as a participant, and leader in the Roswell Camp of The Gideon’s International organization; placing and distributing thousands of Bibles to hotels, high school students, service members and New Mexicans from all walks of life.
Ray is survived by his spouse Fran of Roswell, New Mexico; his son CAPT Randal (Tania) Farley, USN (Ret) of San Diego, California; daughters Rhonda Farley of Watauga, Texas, Robyn (Greg) McCleery of Keller, Texas; sisters Barbara (Aaron) Carlson of Lake City, Iowa and Marcia (Paul) Wentworth of Loup City, Nebraska; his grandchildren LT Kevin Farley, USN of Hanford, California, Brian Farley of Lafayette, California, Mitchell McCleery of Keller, Texas, and Cadet Lucas McCleery, USMA West Point.
A memorial service will be held at the First Church of the Nazarene (501 N. Sycamore Ave.) in Roswell, New Mexico, at 10:30 a.m. on the 9th of September, 2017. Friends are encouraged to bring pictures of Ray to add to a display of remembrance.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations to be made to The Gideons International, Roswell Gideon Camp, P.O. Box 777 Roswell, New Mexico, 88202. Condolences may be left on Ray’s online guest book at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/ramon-farley-obituary.
Beloved Kathryn “Kathy” Horton, 57, passed away on August 13, 2017. A Rosary will be recited on Thursday, August 17, 2017, at 7 p.m., at Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home Chapel. Mass will be celebrated at St John the Baptist Catholic Church Friday, August 18, 2017, at 10 a.m. A tribute of Kathy’s life may be found at andersonbethany.com where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for her family.
Kathy was born to Felipe and Fernanda Horton on August 1, 1960, in Roswell, NM. A wonderful daughter, sister, mother, Tia and grandma, she loved being with her family and friends. Kathy enjoyed listening to music and cruising with her dogs: Blondie, LeeAnn, Leo and Soldier. Whenever you might see her cruising, one of her dogs would be by her side. She was the one who always had something to say that would make you laugh. Kathy also enjoyed family gatherings and listening to her oldies. Even when someone went to visit her, she would be cleaning while enjoying her jams. Kathy was the baby of her brothers and sisters, but boy – was she the life and jokester of them all.
Preceding Kathy in death are her son, Angel Horton; father, Felipe Horton; sisters: Mary Lou Horton, Frances Horton; brothers: Rosito Horton, Agustine Horton; sister-in-law, Rose Salazar Horton; and great nephew, Jeremiah Ray Jaramillo.
Those remaining to cherish Kathy’s memory are sons: Alexis Horton, Gabriel Horton, Ramon Horton; grandsons: Joeray Garcia, Elias Garcia and Nick Gonzalez; sisters: Cruz Dillard, Nancy Garcia, Rose Hernandez, Juanita Rubio, Fernanda Garcia, Sally Chavez; brothers: Adan Horton, Phillip Navarette; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Honorary pallbearers are: All of Kathy’s nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be: Edward Means, Clayton Means, Michell Aguilar and Pete Ysasi.
After the service everyone is invited to join the family at the Fraternal Order of Eagles 3201 S. Sunset Ave., Roswell, NM 88203.
Stop dwelling on the past because the past is forgotten.
Don’t look forward to the future because the future is for God to decide.
Live in the present because that’s exactly what it is, a present from God!
I love you, my beautiful queen. Until I see you again.
John Walter Gray, age 86, of Chino, California. He was entered into eternal rest on Sunday, July 23, 2017 following a hospitalization due to illness.
John was born on March 2, 1931 to his beloved parents, Joseph and Grace Gray in Erick, Oklahoma. He moved with his family to New Mexico and settled in the Hondo Valley in 1943. Continuing school in Tinnie, he later graduated from Hondo High School in 1951. Shortly after high school he joined the United States Marine Corps. While stationed in California he met and married his wife Charlene for the next 63 years. John exited after serving proudly in the United States Marine Corps, with a rank of Lance Corporal; Squadron VMF214. He then took on a new career as a sales manager in the food services industry, with the Cargill Corporation.
He was preceded in death by both parents, two sisters, Pauline Poeling, Rose Porter, two brothers Joe Wayne Gray, C.E. (Buck) Gray, and one loving daughter-in-law Silvia Gray. John leaves behind his loving wife Charlene Gray, five loving sons; Kenneth Gray of Camby, Oregon, Ron Gray and his wife Marika of Germany. Doug Gray and his wife Nancy of Chino, California, Jeff Gray of Germany, and Kerry Gray of Riverside, California. He also leaves behind his five grandchildren, Cory Gray, Christopher Gray, Daniel Gray, Janessa Gray, and Dennis Gray along with four great-grandchildren, Isabella, Charlotte, Phillip, and Vayda. He also leaves behind one surviving sister Carrie Sue Mathews of Roswell, NM.
Funeral services were held on July 27, 2017 at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California, with full military honors.